Once again, I have hurtled headfirst into the hubbub that is New Delhi, India. It was time to dive into the mountainous rolls of fabric and pluck the 'gems' from the rest.
This year I ventured to Delhi on my own....no support, no second opinions. Yep, the thought was pretty scary, but I held my head high and strode confidently through the 2 weeks. I won't say there were no hiccups, but there weren't too many.
Being my second time in Delhi, I already knew the easiest/cheapest ways to get around and I have become an expert at standing my ground and bargaining for a reasonable fare. I stayed in the same hotel and in fact I even had the same room as last year. I actually couldn't quite believe that.
Many long hours and many long days were spent in fabric stores until I felt I had chosen the best fabrics and prints available. With so many gorgeous fabrics to choose from, the task is a mammoth one and even when my decisions were made I was still shown more, more and then some more. Thank goodness my suppliers kept bolstering me with cups of tea, water and often lunch as well.
That leads me to a very funny story.....Everywhere I went, I was asked if I wanted an 'English breakfast' cup of tea, and I thought that 'English breakfast' tea must be quite common in India. On my first visit to one of the fabric stores, I was asked if I would like a cup of tea, and I said I would love an English breakfast, please.
The store owner said he didn't have any and would get me one. I told him not to bother I was happy with any black tea. Not long after, I was told my tea had been ordered and would arrive soon. Bottles of water kept appearing but never a cup of tea. I thought they had forgotten and I didn't give it another thought.
2 hours later, the store owner called me into his office, my English breakfast had arrived.....I think you have probably guessed it by now.....an English breakfast had definitely arrived.....eggs, hash browns, mushroom, tomato, beans, toast, etc.
The store owner told me that he was not able to get an English breakfast in his area and had rung his friend who owns a restaurant. His friend called his chef, asked him to go to the restaurant and make and deliver an English breakfast to me!!!!! When I explained that the English breakfast I asked for was actually a cup of tea, we all had a good laugh. All was ok, but you have no idea how embarrassed I felt.
As I embarked on my sourcing trip alone this year, the task of choosing fabric took quite a bit longer. I spent many hours looking at fabrics, draping them around myself, photographing them, and making my decisions. Together with meetings with my manufacturer, and scouring the streets for ideas and embellishments, my 2 week trip went by in a flash.