It can be quite a culture shock to go from enjoying the bustling textile markets present in many African cities, to the commercialized consumer shopping industry in the U.S. Fast fashion now dominates the shopping industry, and it can be daunting to try and find quality African prints and designs away from home. But that doesn’t mean that you have to resort to a tacky Forever 21 imitation of African prints.
Of course, textiles and fabrics here will not be as cheap as it is back home. But if you’re sick of your old prints and looking for some quality African designs in the Big Apple, look no further than these 5 places below.
1. AKN Fabrics
This gem is located in the heart of New York’s textile industry on Broadway between 30th and 31st street. They have an extensive collection of colorful African prints, and their prices are very reasonable for the city. You can check them out in person, or you can have a look at their fabrics on their official website and Instagram.
2. Fulton Fabrics
While slightly more under the radar than AKN Fabrics, Fulton Fabrics still has a wide selection of African prints to offer. And judging by the picture above, they look pretty authentic. They are located in downtown Brooklyn between Willoughby and Fulton street, and their prices are very cheap and affordable as well.
3. Yara African Fabrics Prints NYC
Like AKN, Yara is an African-owned business offering some of the brightest, most colorful prints you’ll find in the city. They are located in Harlem right off the 2/3 train stop at 125th street. They offer a stunning array of Dashikis and other African outfits in addition to their African Prints NYC. Check them out on their Instagram or on their official website!
4. Bilikis African Fabric & Beauty Supply
Looking for African prints, cosmetics, shea butter, or black soap? As their name suggests, Bilikis African Fabric & Beauty Supply offers everything from fabrics to cosmetics. It is also located in the heart of the city’s fabric industry on Broadway between 30th and 31st street. Check out more of their beautiful designs on their website.
5. Nur Jahan Fabrics
Although not African-owned, Nur Jahan Fabrics is one of the most well known textile shops on the list offering a wide variety of intricate prints and designs from back home. You can see more of their collection in person at their Brooklyn location, or on their website.