[Warning: Photo heavy]
When one is in Athens…in addition to sightseeing and exploring the city, visiting the magnificent Acropolis, its multitude of ancient ruins and modern museums, and sampling Greek delicacies…of course I scouted out fabric shops to visit!
I did some pre-planning. Searching on the internet, I found Sewing in Athen’s post the most useful (thank you!!). Here in this post I just want to add in my own experience!
So the streets where the fabric shops are congregated are in the city centre and conveniently close to one of the metro train stations. The fabric streets are Kalamiotou and Athinaidos. The closest metro station is Monastiraki, which is really just a few minutes walk from the Acropolis complex if you take the exit close to the Temple of Hephaestus.
Coming out of Monastiraki metro station, you just walk towards and turn right into Ermou Street and keep going until you see the ummissable Church of Panaghia on Kapnikareas Street. Then you kind of go around and behind it, and there is Kalamiotou Street!
We went to the fabric streets twice – I couldn’t resist going back a few days later. Most of the shops are attended by men, and they are helpful and approachable in regards to questions about fabric types and composition. They are also happy to have their photos taken with me! :P
There is a 24% tax on top of the marking price. I mainly paid cash. Communicating in English is not an issue, but many of the bolts are unmarked, and not all shop attendants can tell you the exact fabric content or country of origin.
Another unforgettable fabric shopping experience for me! This includes lugging heavy bags of fabric through winding streets under the scorching sun to walk back to the hotel, with legs that were about to fall off any minute (we spent hours walking around and visiting the Acropolis complex prior to visiting the fabric shops). SO WORTH IT.