We Found A Budget, Fabric Wonderland At Chennai's Very Own Cotton Street
Tucked in between the Co-Optex showroom and a Konica photo studio in Egmore, is Pantheon Road, popularly known as Chennai’s ‘Cotton Street’. Here you can find a number of small shops where you can buy colourful cotton fabric by the meter.
What Makes It Awesome
Pantheon Road, aka Cotton Street doesn’t have the crowds that it did 10 -15 years ago, but that hasn’t dulled any of its shine. The vendors here are as chirpy as ever, always ready to help you mix and match the fabrics that you like. The vendors also have on display, a selection of blended and synthetic fabrics and lace, apart from cotton. The road has been a favourite among college students for many years now, for it offers an endlessly customizable wardrobe on a budget. It has also been favoured by film crews who come here to figure out costumes, and other props for their sets. While you may not see much of this crowd in the road now (blame e-commerce!), Pantheon Road still remains an attraction for its loyal patrons.
The vendors on Pantheon Road sell fabric at varying thicknesses, which means that only some are suited for wearing. The bulkier fabrics are perfect for home furnishings like curtains, cushion covers and patchwork quilts. They come in some gorgeous prints too, like paisleys, checks, stripes, florals and more.
The prices per meter start at a mere INR 75 and can go up to INR 800, depending on the fabric. Every vendor is open to bargains, but because the fabrics are inexpensive, to begin with, you can rarely expect them to reduce more than 30 percent of what they quote. If you’re looking to get a few salwar/churidar sets, some vendors also sell pre-matched sets to make your life easier.
The shops open at around 11 in the morning and stay open till around 8 in the night. We recommend you hit the shops in the early evenings, so you can avoid the sun! We also recommend wearing comfortable clothing and shoes because shopping here involves a fair amount of standing, walking and haggling. If you’re looking to refresh your wardrobe or your home without emptying your bank balance, Pantheon Road is the place to go!
Parking space is hard to find, so it’s best to take an auto-rickshaw to get there.