The Fabric District in Quito’s old city

La Basilica, Quito’s Old City

Three things I have learnt during the last week and a bit in Ecuador:
1. Ecuadorians are a magnanimous bunch, ever ready with a smile and a willingness to try and make conversation with me and my phrase-book spanish. Thank goodness for American tourists willing to translate when all my attempts fail!
2. I hadn’t thought it physically possible for my skin to burn faster than it does. It would seem that being 3000m above sea level not only makes the impossible possible on this score – but makes it a 100% probability instead. Ouch.
3. Wool is an incredible fibre.

No, really! I could honestly go on and on extolling the virtues of wool and the increased role it has suddenly made within my (traveling) wardrobe. And I will be very soon…. but I won’t spoil the surprise :)

Quite by accident whilst wondering through the gorgeously colourful streets of Quito’s old city in Ecuador, My poppykettle and I stumbled upon the fabric district – located along Gabriel Garcia Moreno and Venezuala (both streets are parallel to each other) and also along Euguenio Espeja which connects the two.

Whilst the array of standard every day type fabrics wasn’t much to get excited about, the extensive array of tropical weight wool blew me away. 

I lump this down to the fact that Ecuadorian’s like to dress rather formally – the men wear suit jackets and pants almost exclusively. And that’s its consistently rather humid here too!

So with a lot of hand gesticulation and general confusion from both parties, I managed to buy this:

The purchase process was made even more difficult because the shop owners naturally wanted to know what I was going to make with it.

But this little bit of wool really brought home the importance of natural fibres to humankind across the ages. There are a huge amount of yarn shops here too – so obviously Ecuadorians like to knit! I’m holding out until we reach Peru so I can find some alpaca wool (although it’s actually classified as ‘hair’!) to join in on the fun.

It has come to my attention that a few people have nominated me for a variety of blog awards! Please know I eventually get around to posting about this :) I haven’t forgotten or ignored you!

Another massive thankyou for all your wonderful comments on my Lace-but-not-as-you-know-it Dress and my Vogue Suit. My access to internet has been severely curtailed and when I’ve finally managed to get online – it’s been painfully slooooow. Makes me realise exactly how much time I spend online, not to mention how far behind I am in reading all your blogs as well! So hopefully soon I’ll be able to reply to your comments and see what you’ve all been sewing!



  1. How amazing to find a fabric shop – great find!! Love that wool and don't worry about posting – enjoy your vacation!! Alpaca wool (hair) – love that yarn too. Have a fantastic time.

  2. I love all of these photos! The architecture is so pretty! And all that wool is quite pretty too! My favorite souvenir when I go anywhere now is fabric – I love it because it makes the garment extra special when you make and wear it, and you can often find strange/exciting/unusual stuff. That store looks amazing, and your fabric selection looks great. Have fun on the rest of your travels – will be looking forward to seeing all of your Alpaca wools when you get the chance to post again!

  3. Oh fabric district! Thats funny they asked you what you were going to make out of it, I rarely know what I'm doing with fabric when I'm buying it!I'm excited to see what you find in Peru, I bet the textiles will be amazing!

  4. Isn't wool just so fabulous! It doesn't wrinkle easily so it makes it the perfect packing choice! I'm so jealous of your adventure in South America. So so very jealous!

  5. Hi! All the yarn stores you mentioned, the’re in the historic centre? I’m heading to Quito next week, and I’ll be looking for yarn! Any suggestions would be very appreciated :)

    1. Hi Stephanie :) Yep, there are heaps of yarn and wool fabric shops around the centre of historic Quito town (it’s also the nicest part of Quito and I would recommend staying there over the more modern and popular part of Quito, but that’s my personal opinion!) If you walk the few blocks around Plaza Grande a bit, you absolutely won’t miss them. Have fun!

  6. Too bad I didn’t find your blog until just before I left Quito! I found some alpaca yarn in a shop in Cuenca, very nice. (I also agree with you about historic Quito.)

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