Deep in Singapore’s Chinatown, indigo dragonflies

Singapore’s Chinatown – the fabric shops are just ahead.

Making books is my hobby. And finding interesting cover material is always quite exciting. It’s both the search and the find, feeding the possibility of the next great cover.

When I mentioned to my friend Rita that I want to explore this ever-bustling part of Singapore for bookmaking fabric, she suggested People’s Park (“Keep walking, past the subway stop!”).

And I am so very glad for the tip. I must be the last person to know it’s THE place for fabric in Chinatown.

People’s Park’s small mom-and-pop shops cater to people who still tailor their cloths.

Among the many small mom-and-pop textile vendors in this warren of a place, I was overwhelmed with many designs. But the fabrics were mainly for tailoring, not bookmaking, with designs that are just too big for my palm-sized books.

Source of my indigo dragonfly fabric.

As I browsed at this one shop, from the corner of my eye I chanced upon this beautiful indigo printed dragonfly pattern. It has a crisp, raw quality that would be perfect for a handmade book.

I was completely convinced.

“S$20 (US$16) a metre. It’s from Japan,” the lady said. I got half a metre, the minimum, which is more than enough for my purpose.

Here is the result. The fabric is surprisingly soft. It will remind me to drop by People’s Park from time to time.

The loose-weave cotton gives a rustic, traditional feel.

The handmade “indigo dragonfly” book with Coptic binding.

For more, see “Indigo Dragonfly” album on my “Bukurama” Facebook page.

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