photography by shahira fawzy's website

With a tradition of weaving dating back to the time of Pharaonic Egypt, we have a plethora of designs in our textile history, and fortunately, we still produce beautifully designed fabrics till this day.  When buying fabrics ask yourself these 6 questions, and be sure to share this info with your salesperson:

How much do I need? (The fabric you choose can take a big chunk of your overall upholstery fabric. so, ask your upholster before you go shopping.)

How durable must it be? For example, if it’s your TV watching couch or if you have kids, a light colored fabric could be a bad idea. Try to choose something that can withstand stains, won’t show when it gets stained or best yet, is washable.

What’s the color scheme of the room? You have to like the fabric, but more importantly, it has to work well with everything else in the room.   This website is awesome for color inspirations:  Keep in mind everything else in the room, from other furniture to art work/accessories. 

What’s the style of the room? Unless the room is eclectic, the style/design of the textile should be in line with the rest of the space.

How should it feel like? some people hate certain fabrics against their skin, make sure you pick a fabric you’ll feel comfortable sitting/lying on. 

What type of material would work best for all the above? i.e. silks, velvets, cottons, linens, synthetics, sheers etc… it’s always best to mix materials to bring balance into a space. 

Here are the top 6 Egyptian textile manufactures:

(in alphabetical order)

Etoffe Texmar


 29 yathrib st.



great quality and prices, texmar offers a great selection of durable well designed contemporary fabrics. the green curtains at “link dev” are from here.

Gallerie Alef


14 mohamed anis st.

international branches:

alef and leading edge, liberty building, 1st floor, sheikh zayed road, dubai. next to gold and diamond park.

contact audrey miler: 0556446929

this is definitely the priciest on this list, yet still a very good deal. pharaonic, coptic and fatimid designs using very high quality textiles can be custom made within a few business days. the awesome multi-colored dinning room chairs in “gouna house” are from here.

13 refa’a street, dokki

international branches:

many, check out their website for a location near you

in a way, nagada brings the zen into local textile designs and technique. though full of colors, the fabrics are subtle and chic yet extremely vernacular. the bed covers for “gouna house master bedroom” and “gouna house kids rooms” are all from here, as are the curtains of the entire home.

Shahira Fawzy


city stars – 3rd floor


international branches:

blooming dale’s, arabian nights, dubai mall – dubai – uae

bashayer – souq qaryet al beri – abu dhabi – uae

shahira has a huge catalogue of local/folkloric/islamic/modern designs and colors to choose from, she is –hands down- the queen of color and can customize (with a minimum order) for you as well.  plus, she’s a blast and an inspiration to work with.



31 mohamed anis str.



tanis was the first place i bought textiles from as a teenager, and until today i am amazed out how much help and attention one of the owners, lamia hassanein, gave me. the experience was so fun, i still remember it two decades later. with a massive catalogue of pharaonic/islamic and modern designs, several branches and awesome customer service, you can buy or customize your cottons, linens and velvets here.

Wekalet el balah market

(located on the nile corniche, cairo side, right before the world trade center)

people say this is great for budgets, but that’s mostly right for certain fabrics.  for instance, i love “duck” (my couch’s slip-cover in “chez me” is 100% white “duck”/”kayameya” material, it also comes in a huge variety of colors and/or stripped patterns) and i use it often as it’s cheap and washes well. more traditional fabrics are also available in most materials and colors, but i usually come here as a last resort for those as prices have increased over the years and no long as competitive as other establishments.