dubai is a haven for kain. you want the latest, the affordables, the loveliest – dubai is the place to be, especially the area called ‘naif’. in fact before i got married, abah brought me and my sisters to dubai to buy cloths to make baju for my engagement and wedding.
one interesting shop in the midst of it all is phulwani, arguably THE most popular textile shop among malaysians.
how popular? you can see ‘selamat datang’ pasted on its entrance door. there are even pictures of malay wedding couples, as well as malaysian artistes on its walls. if you look closely under the glass on the table, you will see hundreds of business cards of malaysian government officers, airline crew or just another malaysian dropping by.
the friendly and helpful staff can speak bahasa malaysia very well, and are knowledgeable in malaysia kain pricing. masuk kedai tu, memang rasa macam kat kedai kain malaysia!
me like a kid in a candy store
phulwani is relatively big, but has narrow spaces. you’ll find yourself walking into L spaces when you’re in the shop.
upon entering, you’ll see a line of cloths for men’s suits and shirts first, before being greeted by a wondrous colorful selection of kain of all types and origin. i bought one korean silk myself. hihi.
there’s a whole section of a plain cloths selection to make men’s baju melayu, and another section just for laces. when i said i wanted to make kebaya, the staff was quick to suggest lace as a favorite choice to make kebaya, but i don’t want THAT kind of kebaya. lace-lace ni tak payah lah.
i’m going for simple but bright this year!
since phulwani is such a hit with malaysians, it’s not surprising to bump into my fellow countrymen here. while we were there, we met mr. khairul’s fellow biker dude sham who’s ordering a few baju melayu here; we also ran into bro hassanal, wife hazleen and their two boys – also browsing cloths for baju raya. two other malay couples were also looking for materials when we were about to leave.
really, most of their customers are malaysians!
me and hazleen going gaga over the many choices of kain
so what colors are you guys planning for baju raya theme this year?
my family? maybe dark brown. could be red. perhaps cream. or even dark green. haha. the thing is, these are the colors of the stripes, or leaf or flowers or the background of my baju kurung and kebaya this year. since it’s so easy to pick up a baju melayu, the boys will just follow MY colors, whatever it might be in the end.
…the perks of being the ONLY girl in the family…
so who picks the baju raya in YOUR family? selalunya the wife kan hihi. my mak used to just sew the baju raya for her 5 girls when we were younger. too bad i’m not as talented!
also, we’ve got a chinese tailor back in ipoh – and boy, we’ve been sending kain to her since forever. the chinese lady once said, (when she had to re-measured us after giving birth) that she has sewn our baju kurung when we were small, then teen, then married and now even as mothers. gile lama kitorang tempah baju kat ahso tu!
well, i bought a few kain at phulwani that day, with the help of mr. khairul. i love MOST of the kain design there, so i let mr. khairul pick and choose some kain that he likes to see on me. lagi bagus bila suami suka kain yang kita pilih kan?
we can of course just buy the kain, but i chose to let their in-house tailor make my baju kurung. he came to take my measurement. i could come back next few weeks to pick it up, and alter it there and then should there be any correction to the cutting.
this is my first time making baju kurang and kebaya with an old indian man! and he’s foreign! let’s see how well he does…
i guess i don’t need to give you the exact location of phulwani since it’s so popular already – but here’s a few pointers just in case. it’s situated in the area opposite the naif police station, surrounded by a few abaya shops. we parked in the dark building right in front – congested, low-ceiling, a claustrophonic-nightmare – but hey, this is the only choice we’ve got!
if you’re travelling without kiddos, you’re better off taking a cab. no parking hassle! also, come in the evening as it’s getting hotter in dubai right now so you’ll be shopping more comfortable after dark!