silk scarves-where and how much?

Old Apr 16th, 2006, 06:12 AM
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silk scarves-where and how much?

Leaving soon for our China tour, and pondering possible souveneirs to bring back. Can anyone tell me what is a good price to pay for silk scarves, and where is the best place/places to buy them? I know we visit a silk factory in Suzhou, should I wait to buy there, or will they be cheaper in markets in Shanghai or Bejing? Any other suggestions for inexpensive souveneirs to bring back also appreciated.
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Old Apr 18th, 2006, 12:00 PM
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Are you visiting Hangzhou? I've been to Shanghai, Suzhou and Beijing, like the ones in Hangzhou the best. If you know the art of bargaining in China, you can get them for $1-2. I believe the ones at the silk factory will be set prices, how about getting one in each city?
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Old Apr 19th, 2006, 08:54 AM
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If you buy in tourist traps like on a factory tour, it's not cheap. But go to the markets and pay less than $5US. If you plan to buy several anyways, buy from the same store for more bargaining power. Most stores actually sell the same stuff anyways. They will start the price skyhigh. Just kept in mind what you want to pay and stick with it.

I bought really good scarfs for $3.50 (This price is probably already high since the previous post said $1-2). Compared to a scarf I bought a yr ago from official stores, they were the same. I used it all winter and it's still as good as new. BE CAREFUL...Make sure to check the quality of everything. Open up each package and go over it inch by inch. Some can be defects.

I remember the Silk Market in Beijing. There are a lot of posts here, just do a search for shopping and china.
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Old Apr 19th, 2006, 09:00 AM
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If I were you, I'll get them all at the end of trip, except when you see special ones for yourself. Why carry them through the whole trip.

Don't worry about not find them. If where you're visiting is a popular tourist city, there'll be vendors selling the same stuff.
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Old Apr 19th, 2006, 10:25 AM
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Be careful with the scarves in street markets or when the price is "too cheap." At the silk factory they will show you a real silk item and a nylon/synthetic one. You probably won't be able to tell the difference at first. They then get out a lighter and burn a part of the items. The synthetic will melt, the real silk will burn with an odor like burning hair.

At a market, burning an item isn't pracitcal (!!) but I don't see why you can't pull a string out, if any, and try this test. Most of the "silk" in the markets isn't, really, but if it's attractive and the price is right, go for it.

Also know that there are many grades of silk, depending on the quality of the cocoons, the number of strands composing the thread (up to 9 or so) and the quality of the printing. If you're looking for an inexpensive souvenir, fine, but expect to get what you pay for. Also, if you fall in love with a particular design, get it then. Scarves won't add much to your luggage weight and actually may help buffer any breakables from damage!

K.
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Old Apr 21st, 2006, 07:56 AM
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I agree with the postings, check everyone one of them for quality and printing (smears, irregulars). Open them up, finger them, and hold them up against light and look at the density of the threads.
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