Shanghai and Silk

Nov 18th, 2008, 08:31 PM
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Join Date: Sep 2004
Posts: 878
Shanghai and Silk

We will be back in Shanghai in early March. Is there a good place /any place in Shanghai to buy silk especially the yard goods with the beautiful embroidery.

Several years ago I found pieces with embroidery at what I think was a "Friendship Shop". It was a big craft type store and the drop off point for the cruise ship shuttle.

The store's selection was very limited. It also seemed costly. We walked around the shopping area, but couldn't find any other pieces. We went back and I bought a big piece and had a quilt made out of it in Bangkok. It is really nice and I would like to find a place with a better selection if there is one.

cwn is offline  
Nov 19th, 2008, 09:41 AM
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The Friendship Store caters to non-chinese and price-wise is a total rip off. There are many other places that you can find much less expensive silk fabric and if I am correct, you are looking for the slightly heavier type called brocade?

Do you know which hotel you are staying at? I'll steer you somewhere close by.
Shanghainese is offline  
Nov 19th, 2008, 12:55 PM
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Actually we will be docking at the passenger Cruise Terminal, the one near town. We will either get a car and driver for the day or just use Taxis. So can go most any where I would guess. A heavy silk brocade would be nice or a lighter weight silk that has a embroidery design would be great too. The piece that I wound up buying last time had a beautiful bird scene embroidered on the fabric, a lighter weight silk.

We leave the ship in Hong Kong and will travel on to Hanoi and then go to Bangkok again also. I hope I can get several more quilts made up there as my daughters love mine.

Thanks so much.
cwn is offline  
Nov 19th, 2008, 06:38 PM
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Since you are going to be in Hong Kong, you might want to look in Hong Kong for fabric. I am always wary of buying fabric in the PRC, as I have concerned about polyester being substituted for silk. If you really know your fabrics, then you won’t have problem, but it is an issue. It can happen in Hong Kong too of course, but IMO the chances are less. (I would avoid the street markets and Stanley for this reason.)

Some places to consider in Hong Kong would be Western Market which has about a dozen fabric stalls, see one I have used, below. The Chinese Arts and Crafts stores also carry silk, there are various locations around town, the one near the Star Ferry pier on the Kowloon side has a pretty large selection of silk fabric. Go to Another place which I believe carries fabric is Yee Hwa Chinese Products Emporium, they are like a down-scale version of Chinese Arts and Crafts. They have various locations in town, their biggest shop is in Kowloon right on Nathan Road, go to for locations. Both are open every day. Finally, there are home furnishing stores lining Queens Road East in Wan Chai from Star Street to the Hopewell Centre, whether they would sell you brocade silk by the yard is a question, but it might be worth stopping into a few curtain shops to ask.

Yau Fat Textile Company
Shop 105&106 Western Market
323 Des Veoux Road Central
Tel: 2850-5169

This is in Western Market, which is on Hong Kong Island to the west (naturally) of the Central area. You can take a tram or taxi or bus, it would be a longish walk from the Star Ferry pier, but not a bad one from the Shueng Wan MTR stop, exit door B (Dex Veoux Road, the street with the tram on it) and walk about 2 blocks. They are open every day I believe, but call ahead for Sundays to make sure. This stall is about the second stall on the right as you come up the stairs/escalators. The woman in the shop I have generally dealt with is Rowena, but there a Chinese gentleman there who is quite knowledgeable as well. They have a very very big selection of material. Silk runs about HK$280-250 a meter (roughly $35-44 a yard), not sure how that compares to US prices. (You should of course do some comparison shopping before you leave to make sure what you are being offered anywhere in Asia is a bargain.

Shanghai Tang
Basement and First Floor
Pedder Building
12 Pedder Street
(Also outlets in Pacific Place Mall and the Peninsula Hotel)

They have a nice selection of good quality silks for cheongsams, some of which are heavier brocades. These are fairly expensive, but very nice patterns. For fabric, I think I would just concentrate on their main store on Pedder Street; the fabric selection is on the main street level floor, all the way at the back.

In this same building you can find really gorgeous, but expensive, silk duvet covers at Blanc de Chine, they have other outlets as well, see for locations.

You can also look for fabric in Bangkok. I had a beautiful double-sided quilt and half a dozen matching pillows made at Almeta in Bangkok, see for their location. They can send the pieces on to you. They have a very large selection of fabrics, from tissue thin to heavier Thai silks. And of course there is Jim Thompson as well.

If you decide to look in Shanghai, then the fabric market would be the place to go; I understand it has recently moved to a new building near the Bund, so your cruise ship, a guidebook or perhaps a poster here has the current and correct address. You might also try department stores along Nanjing Road, but I have no personal experience as to whether they sell fabric.
Cicerone is offline  
Nov 21st, 2008, 11:11 AM
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Cicerone has great ideas for HK.

In Shanghai, the fabric market has moved to 399 Lujiabang Lu (road), it has dozens of vendors who make clothes too, you can take a taxi there. Or you can take the cruise ship shuttle and go to East Nanjing Road (not west) pedestrian shopping street stretching several blocks from Xizhang Road to the Bund. The huge No. 1 Department Store is across from the People's Square (this is considered city center), there is also a big store close to the Friendship Store dedicated to fabrics. The pedestrian shopping street has a 30 cent per ride shuttle you are weighed down with shopping bags.

What are you going to do the rest of the day?

Shanghainese is offline  
Nov 23rd, 2008, 08:16 AM
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Thanks for all the great information! I added it to my travel notes along with things of interest from your other posts on Hong Kong. We are really looking forward to having a few days there.


Thanks for the names of the stores. We will check them out.

We haven't made any plans for Shanghai yet. I had wanted to go to a "water town" but that seems like too much driving for the time we have.

Last time we we did the touristy things...visited the sites in Old Town and across the River exploring on foot, did our shopping for silk and stopped at M on the Bund for drinks. We thought we might go back to M for a meal, but my husband loves dumplings so we might look for that instead.

Do you have any suggestions for the day? We like to get off the beaten path and get a feel for the cities we visit.

I thinking about getting a car and driver for the day. I have bad knees and pouding the pavement is getting harder you me. I have contacted a car service and they can supply a car and English speaking driver for the whole time we are there including dock pick up and return for $100.

We used taxis last time, but thought having an English speaking driver might make an relative unstructured day easier and help cut down on the walking.
cwn is offline  
Nov 23rd, 2008, 08:26 AM
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If you have not visited the Shanghai Museum yet (on People's Sq), I would highly recommend that.
Shanghainese - welcome home.
Paulchili is offline  
Nov 24th, 2008, 09:49 AM
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Thanks very much, Paul, with your help, I hope Paulo is eating well in Shanghai.

cwn -- the Shanghai Museum is a feast for the eyes, a quick walkthru takes a couple of hours; another hour at the City Planning Exhibition Hall next door will also be time well spent.

Watertowns are usually an all day trip, for a smaller nearby one that can be done in a 1/2 daytrip, consider Chi Bao (7 Treasures), your driver should know the place. If you haven't been to the former french concession, you can browse the alleys at Taikang Road Lane 210, more local flavor than Xintiandi.
Shanghainese is offline  
Nov 24th, 2008, 10:36 AM
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Paulchili and Shanghinese,

Thanks for the Museum recommendation. We were thinking about stopping there as we have heard so much about how nice it is.

We will have to see how I am doing that day, some days I can't stand for the several hours of slow moving it would take to do the Museum justice. I am fine as long as I keep moving at a good pace so walking around isn't a problem most of the time, it is just the standing.


Thanks for the information on the French Concession area. That sounds like something we would like to do. So now I have checking out some stores and browing "the alleys at Taikang Road Lane 210" on my list.

I haven't given up on the wtaer town idea yet. A half day trip would be great. That would still give us some time in Shanghai too.

I hadn't found any memtion of Chi Bao (7 Treasures). Can you tell me something about it? I will do a search and see what I can find also.

The car service asked for a list of the things we would like to do/see when we confirm the booking. So I need to pick the places we want to go and maybe have an alternate or two.

How early will the silk stores open?

Thanks for all your help.
cwn is offline  
Nov 25th, 2008, 10:28 AM
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Thanks, EK.

cwn -- there are 6 regular size watertowns who have UNESCO status, if you see one, you have seen them all. Chi Bao, or another spelling is Qi Bao, is about a quarter of the regular size watertowns, another one is Zhujiajiao, both closer to than the other 6. I don't know how to tell you about them, google a regular-sized one like Tongli or Xitang, and you will get a good idea.

Stores in Shanghai usually open at 10 am.
Shanghainese is offline  
Nov 26th, 2008, 11:56 AM
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Thanks for the information. Sounds interesting.


I actually had read about Zhujiajiao when looking at the possiblity of a trip to a water town. The car service said that a trip there was within the travel distance allowed.

Zhujiajiao looks interesting...we enjoy photography so the many bridges and old buildings could be appealing subjects...but I couldn't find any first hand reports. Wasn't sure it was worth a visit.

I didn't find as much tour information on Chi Bao, but maybe that's a good thing. It does have a temple area so that might be interesting also, plus it is appears to be closer and some smaller than Zhujiajiao.

Have you been to either place? Is one better, less crowded, more interesting than the other?

At this point in the planning, I am leaning towards a vist to one of these two towns, then depending on how long that takes, going to the alleys at Taikang Road Lane 210 and if time is left going to the fabric market.

With the information Cicerone shared on the fabic places in Hong Kong, I am not so pressed to get fabric in Shanghai, plus we have several days in Hong Kong so I will have more time to shop.

Thanks for all you information. It has really hepled with my planning.

If anyone has visited either town, I would love your opinion.

cwn is offline  
Nov 27th, 2008, 03:07 AM
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hi, i just arrived home yesterday and bought some silks from a market...a few things...there is a market where you can have things made to fit...the real 100% silk is running about 25.00 canadian dollars for a ready made blouse in any style you like...the beswt way is to bring pictures to them and voila it is custom made.SHANGHAI SHILIU PU HONGQIXIANG CLOTH MARKET 168 DONGMEN ROAD
if you want blouses the man is TANG BO HE IS AT B1NO.009 in the basement...very good at negotiating so once you reach about 100 - 120 rmb then that is a great deal!
CHEN SHUI FANG no.242 makes the best cashmere coat...the work is beautiful the cost is about 65.00 canadian, real 100% cashmere so the negotiating price here is about 350 - 450 rmb depending on the length and style...she is good!
on the same floor but i cannot remember her stall number is where i purchased lots of 100% silk by the meter...all i remember is the girl speaks very good english and can explain which ones has polyester in them...many of the brocades especially not from nanging are not all silk...they are a mix with polyester and silk and some rayon as well...the 100% i managed to negotiate at 30. rmb per meter 6.00 canadian that is a heck of a canada the silks run from a minumum of 22.00 to 37.00 in a good sale...some silks are hand weaved and they run around 20.00 per meter as not be fooled though because machine made is just as nice...the girl's name is either maymay or ming may? once you get to the second floor take a left and left again and the shop is there...just ask for her cuz she is very helpful...her father owns the factory in another city outside of shanghai...her uncle owns the shop...another floor up is where we had the traditional chinese dresses made...that store is 346 -347 YUAN PING HUA very nice lade but on the more expensive side...when we received our dresses and happy coats we knew why...they fit like a glove and the had work is amazing...on the second floor maymay also makes the traditional dresses but it was unfortunate that we had met her i cannot comment on the quality of the sewing...i sew as well and that is why i had purchase silk...yuan sells her fabrics as well but at 45 rmb per meter...she has more brocades but cannot tell me if it is 100% or not the language thing...
you can spend the whole day there and get totally overwelmed and not buy anything...i was at the market for several days...negotiating all the time...the chinese are so superstitious as well...if you get there by about 9:30 - 10:00 morning prices are better than afternoon...if you are the 45th customer it will cost you more...buyer beware...then just a few blocks over is the old shanghai the middle of a small open market comes some residential and then before your very eyes...a very crowded market where you can get a bowl of noodle soup, a drink and dumplings for about 4.00
that is just amazing!
i too was in hong kong on the trip and found that many of the products are coming from the mainland anyways so it was a better buy in shanghai...
if you choose to go to 399 Lujiabang Lu the fabrics are more expensive and for the same things...the rent is higher at Lujiabang because the rent is higher for these can purchase all your buttons, threads and such at the shilipu as well...have fun and enjoy!
luv2cook2 is offline  
Nov 29th, 2008, 12:11 PM
Join Date: Oct 2003
Posts: 2,854
I have been to both Chi Bao/Qi Bao and Zhujiangjao, really can't chose one over the other, I recall Qi Bao has a pagoda. Perhaps your cab service will have a preference of one or the other.
Shanghainese is offline  

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