Warning: Photo Heavy.
My husband and I was in Hong Kong last year and I took him fabric shopping with me. It took me a while to finally write this post up about my experience.
We only had a short stay and were quite rushed, so I could only choose one area to go to. The suburb of Sham Shui Po, in particular Ki Lung Street, are where the fabric wholesalers are concentrated. There are some retail sellers as well. The surrounding area also sell leather, buttons, trims, applique, sewing notions and such.
Ki Lung Street is conveniently located just 2 streets away from the Sham Shui Po MTR (subway) station, exit A2. Once you come out of the station exit, just cross the street straight away. Then walk 2 blocks and there’s the “Fabric Street”. Don’t expect luxurious fabrics here, though. I’d say most of the stuff they sell are cotton/poly. If you want nice Chinese silks, or fine fabrics like cashmere etc, this is not the place.
Sham Shui Po MTR (subway) station, exit A2.
Cross the road, walk 2 blocks and you’ll be there. Surrounding streets have stalls, shops selling zips, umbrellas, mixed with restaurants, foot massage, dodgey hotels…but the area is very safe to go to during the day.
Just use Google Map. This is the ‘Fabric Street’ in Hong Kong.
There are shops on either side, and stalls on the side of the street.
It’s definitely not a glamorous area. It’s gritty, old and dirty! But you can find little gems if you have a bit of time to look through things. Or a good bargain on basics.
A lot of the shops are wholesalers. They only have swatches of fabrics on display. You can choose them, pay and collect them later, typically a few hours to a day.
Too bad I only had an afternoon there and unable to come back, so I had to bypass all these shops. There are many plain and printed fabrics.
Oh, most shops open late. You’ll find many shops closed before noon.
But there are also retail shops. This is my favourite one out of all – you can buy fabric remnants, cut from the bolt, or provide your own image and print your own (but this service takes a period of time).
The ready-printed ones are lovely enough. These are more expensive than the other shops though, but also much nicer fabrics.
I bought 2 pieces here – a pleated chiffon, and a textured scuba. From memory most of the ones on the wall are cotton sateen or mixed cotton/poly.
I can speak Cantonese (native language in Hong Kong), so communication was easy. They would most likely speak Mandarin as well. I would say simple English MAY be okay, but varies from shop to shop.
Other shops around, this one selling leather.
More stalls and shops open closer to midday.
Expect to pay cash. They normally sell fabric off the bolt in yards. From the ones I’ve seen, the bolts don’t have labels regarding composition, price etc.
Another one of the retail shops that I like. The fabrics are about HKD$60-80/yard.
Seeing sewing machines makes me happy!
A Fatpiece Go? :P
In my natural habitat, camouflaged.
This is the street before Ki Lung Street when you walk from the subway station. Trims, appliques, notions galore.
Lots to choose from, and cheap as.
One could spend a lot of time here. And if you collect patches…good luck.
Ribbons, fabric flowers, laces and other accessories.
Lots to look at, if you have the time. I bought a few pieces of fabric, not a lot.
Very typical Hong Kong scene.
Hubby had a chance to look at his hobby stuff too, in another suburb (Mong Kok).
He left empty-handed though, such self discipline, unlike me!
I might come back one day and have a better look. Check out Geneva from A Pair and A Spare’s post on fabric shopping in Hong Kong, and also things to do and see as tourists in HK. Also these posts are helpful, by , Sassy Hong Kong , Threads Magazine and Mulberry and Flax.