Buying Fabric in Kigali

After seeing photos of sambaza kitenge, I went on a fabric shopping spree, dreaming of making a fish-themed quilt.

While I didn’t end up finding the specific print, I learned a lot about buying kitenge in Kigali.

There are two main destinations for buying kitenge: Kimironko Market and Kigali Fabric Market.

Kimironko Market is more of a traditional market, selling everything from household goods to fruits and vegetables. There’s a a group of fabric stalls where vendors hanging their wares on wooden beams. Tailors surround the stalls, ready to turn your purchases into outfits.

Kimironko Market fabric

Kigali Fabric Market is a much smaller market located inside a small building next to the Kigali City Market mall. The selection is significantly better. Kitenge of all designs are piles into tall stacks for your sifting pleasure.

Kigali Fabric Market

If you’re traveling by car, you’ll need to help direct your driver to Kigali Fabric Market. It’s a less known destination. The best landmark is the Kigali City Market mall next door. Since Google Maps doesn’t have great photos of the entrance, here’s a blog post to help you locate it.

Kigali map

Prices at both locations depend on our negotiation skills. They can be as low as 5000 RWF for a 6-yard bundle. I wasn’t as skilled and purchased fabrics at 15000 RWF.

Overall, I prefer Kigali Fabric Market because of its large variety of kitenge. It’s a sewing paradise.

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