How It's Made - Tailoring Group in Kipsongo Making Stylish Colorful Aprons

Our tailoring group in the Kipsongo slum in Kitale, Kenya are a group of talented women who are able to create anything from pillows to aprons to dresses just by looking at a sample.  

On the most recent trip to Kenya we made new aprons from fabrics we chose in the Eastleigh area of Nairobi.  Eastleigh is what I call the fabric district.  There are several buildings full of individual shops of fabric.  Leila and I spent several hours just looking at the different fabrics and making notes about what we would choose for aprons, pillows and dresses.


We were excited to find a fabric we had previously sold out of for both aprons and pillows.  You can see that fabric in the photo on the left.  It's the top middle piece with the blue leaves. This is rare as usually you only get one chance at the fabrics that are there as they do not do another run of the fabrics.  In the future we may consider having our own fabrics printed.  Most of the fabric is printed in Nigeria.  It comes in 6 yard pieces.  1 piece will do a long dress, several aprons, several pillows or a couple of skirts. 


The tailoring group works in a team.  There are those who cut, sew, iron etc.  They use foot pedal sewing machines as there is limited access to electricity in the slum.  We are working to get the ladies a permanent place to work and have a solution that we are working behind the scenes. 

The fabric is cut, then sewn and then pressed.  The aprons are made from kitenge prints in beautiful colors.  They are machine washable.  Each apron includes 2 large pockets, a tie at the neck and waist and is lined.  One size fits most.  To see the prints shown below and many more options click here to visit the online store or stop by Fair Trade Long Beach at 4105 N Bellflower Long Beach CA or better yet make an appointment for in person or video chat from our Santa Ana location to see these and more items made by the ladies of Baskets and Beads.

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