Khan Mahfouz: Heaven of Authentic Clothing
128, Al Azhar Street
in the heart of Islamic Cairo on El Azhar Road is a small shop known in the
area as Nour (named after its owner). It looks like a big, colourful and
inviting cave opening that you will be tempted to enter, and when you step inside the tiny shop, you will definitely be rewarded.
named Khan Mahfouz, the shop is a narrow and very colourful space: on closer inspection,
pieces of cloth and other sewing material can be found lying around. Nour is a tailor with a very special talent
and a love for everything Egyptian. After years of travelling abroad and
participating in fairs for fabrics and authentic clothing, Nour returned to
where he had grown up as a child, learned how to sew and bought this shop. With
his talent, persistence and the craft that his grandfather taught him as a
child, Nour now has one of the rare shops in Cairo that sell handmade Egyptian
in Khan Mahfouz is handmade by the owner. Nour designs the clothes by mixing
traditional designs with more contemporary ones. The Egyptian design aesthetic
comes in with the choice of cloth: all 100% cotton or linen from El Ghoreyaa.
He also uses other fabrics that he gets from all over Egypt.
Mahfouz sells everything from scarves to pouches. Shirts, trousers, skirts,
bags, tunics, galabeyas, head dress and even curtains are available at the
shop. Now, he even makes clutches from the traditional floral cloth that
peasant women wear on their heads to keep up with the current clutch trend.
buys cloth from the Bedouins of Siwa and sews their traditional cloth full of
very detailed embroidery, into vests, tunics and skirts. He uses sea shells
from El Areesh as buttons, and he even makes curtains with the shells. Tapping
into the current patriotic trend, he has also made hand-stitched tulle bags
with the Egyptian flag on them.
can order items to be customised especially for you at Khan Mahfouz. Whether it
is a shirt, a pair of trousers or a galabeya, you can choose the colour, cloth,
size, design; and Nour will tailor it for you. You don’t need to leave a
deposit; just give a date when you will pick them up, and if you don’t show
up within two weeks of that date, the shop will display the merchandise for
prices at Khan Mahfouz are cheap to moderate with vests for 50LE and trousers
starting at 100LE. The quality of the sewing is pretty good and looks very
unique. Exemplified by the complimentary tea offered whenever a familiar face
steps in, Khan Mahfouz has a very flexible and relaxed atmosphere when it comes
buying and selling. If you’re looking for authentic and colourful clothing in
Cairo, this is the shop for you.