The Definitive Guide to Living in the Capital , Cairo , Egypt

House Of Fabrics

House Of Fabrics: A Mish-Mash of Fabrics in Zamalek

reviewed by
Jessica Noble
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House Of Fabrics: A Mish-Mash of Fabrics in Zamalek
On a hunt for some decent fabric, we headed to House of Fabrics in Zamalek. The rustic window displays, vintage style signage and mysterious, dim lighting ooze subtle class. We headed down the stairs and delved into a realm of beautiful fabrics.

Every inch of the shop is used – from floor to ceiling – to show off their products; using heavy duty rolls, hangers or catalogues of samples. Because there are so many fabrics, often overlapping one another and no clear organisation structure, this shop was both overwhelming and a little claustrophobic.

Straight away, we established that the fabric is sold by the metre, excluding the table of folded,  left over cuts, which are priced and sold at a discounted price. At the time of our visit, there was 4.5 metres of denim like material for just 100LE.

House of Fabrics will also re-upholster furniture and measure windows to make sets of curtains or blinds for an extra fee.

The first wall of fabric we were drawn to consisted of rolls of genuine, dark, Spanish leather. Deep brown, imitation crocodile skin leather or a similar snake skin cost 250LE per metre. There is quite a large selection of rich, warm coloured fabrics; a luxury crimson velvet would set you back 290LE per metre, whilst a dramatic, red and black floral design costs 430LE per metre.     

They also cater for those who prefer lighter colours with plenty of neutral tones; off-whites, beiges, creams and golds. A thick cream fabric adorned with large, white flowers is priced at 290LE per metre and a plain white, blackout material costs 100LE per metre.

We also spotted some charming, subtly striped, canvas curtains hanging in the window (180LE/m). This material was displayed in one of their many catalogues and had to be ordered in. However, the shop assistant informed us that because it’s locally sourced from Prestige Designs, it would take just three days to arrive. Some of the fabrics can be ordered internationally but may take up to three weeks to arrive.

There’s also a vast collection of net, satin, silks and sheer fabrics in a multitude of colours. Unfortunately, House of Fabrics doesn’t stock many bright or unusual colours; there was no neon or animal print in sight. We were also disappointed to find they don’t sell sequins, beads or fastening necessities such as buttons and zips. However, they do sell both decorative and discreet curtain poles, a few contemporary and some classical.

If you’re looking for a range of quality fabrics, either fussy or plain, House of Fabrics would be a good place to start – as long as you don’t mind hunting through the mountain piles of material to find what you’re looking for.

360 Tip

Hand-picking the fabric for your curtains or clothes means you're pretty much guaranteed to create something unique, which also often costs less than in-shop buying.

Best Bit

The range of different materials, both in stock and available to be ordered in.

Worst Bit

This shop is lacking contemporary fabrics unless it's just hidden under everything else.

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