Almost a year ago I went to Hong Kong and had the chance to visit Sham Shui Po Fabric Market. I was thrilled to score some good quality fabrics and those rare ones that I couldn’t find it back in Malaysia. Do read about my experience here if you haven’t.
Ever since that trip,I’ve been waiting for the right time to rope in my crafter friends on a fabric shopping spree. Long story short, Maizura, Liza and I finally decided that we should go to Guangzhou China as we heard ‘this is the real deal’ ‘the mother of all fabric markets’. Upon approval from our husbands (yay!) we proceed to book our flight tickets and waited anxiously for the day to come.
We arrived Baiyun International Airport, Guangzhou on 30th April 2014 in the morning.
The first fabric market we went was the HighSun String & Cloth Market (also known as HighSun Fabric Market). We took taxi to the market as it was more convenient that way. Tip #1 , for non mandarin speaking tourist like us , we came prepared printed the mandarin name and showed to the taxi driver. He understood right away and took us there, about couple minutes drive only from our hotel .
In front of the store. Yes all smiley and super excited🙂
This Aunty shop carries variety of linen materials and she’s super nice too! We like her a lot that we came back again with more order.
Liza felt all giddy here hahaha …honestly, we are all spoilt with tons of fabric choices.
Haggling is a must here! That’s my “gimme good price aunty..i buy many many” pfft hahaha
Some that I bought on that day..
We stayed in Highsun until close to 6pm. Then we headed back to hotel as all of us suddenly felt our stomach growling- literally shop till we drop!
Day two – Welcome to Zhongda Fabric Market (中大瑞纺布匹市场 ). We arrived early morning around 9am and yerp! this time with our luggage bags. Pretty ambitious I’ll say. We took translator this time round as we’re not that confident when it comes to dealing with whole sellers.(or so we thought hmmm)
As expected there were swatches on each shops. Unfortunately due to Labor day many shops were closed ..even if there are shops that operates, they are unable to get fabrics as warehouses are closed as well. However they suggested we placed our orders and swing by tomorrow or the day after tomorrow, as by then warehouses are open.To be honest we were rather skeptical about the arrangement , firstly our flights back is tomorrow night and secondly we rather not take the risk of losing our deposit money if we failed to picked up/they failed to deliver.
Anyhow we didn’t came back empty handed. Liza managed to grab few meters on the spot from a shop that happen to kept some fabric sample. As for the rest of us, we went for sewing accessories like rick racks, buttons, lace, knit elastic band which was pretty awesome too!
On Day three – Well, we went back to HighSun for the same reason – another round of fabric freezy..haha just an excuse to finish up our yuans, which I might add was a good choice we make , as we got familiar and know which shops has yummy fabrics selections. We scored relatively good % too if I may say ..so hurrah!
Ok here are some tips I gather :
1. Never ever ever Ever accept the first price offer.
2. Try to walk around first before you start buying .
2. Make sure what you bargain is what you really really want. It’s just not nice if you bargain and not interested to buy. So be nice to the seller too ya.
3. If the price offer is not right, tryyyy walking away from the seller (tactics hehe)..and chances are sometimes they will call you back and give you your last offer price. But sometimes, they might just ignored you as they find your offer price too low ..haha in that case, if you really2 like it just buy lah!
4.Chinese beliefs first customer in the morning should bring “ong” (luck) for their business. We happened to come early that day. So as a first buyer they gave quite a good price. I even managed to get few meters free as well from the ‘many-many’ meters I bought from this seller., I believe she kinda like me hahaha ..My friends can attest to that🙂
5. Few basic English to communicate “how much”(show the calculator), “buy many-many?”, “ok not ok?”
To conclude I even made this table below as a comparison between HighSun vs Zhongda Fabric Markets.
| FABRIC MARKETS
||Highsun (Haiyin) Fabrics Market海印布匹市场
||Zhongda Fabric Market(中大瑞纺布匹市场 — Zhongda Rui Fang Bu Pi Shichang)
||almost any kinds of fabrics can be found here, for curtains, bedsheets, silk materials, chiffon and cotton.
||you’ll be overwhelmed with the choices they have, you have to refer to their fabric swatches inside/outside their shops.
||it is ideal for small quantity fabric purchases (between 2-10 meters) and for tailor making dresses.
||it mostly targeted for whole sellers, selling wide varieties of fabrics and taking up order until 1000 meters!
||9.30am – 6pm
||8.30am – 6pm/7pm
||you can buy small quantities about one meter of fabric
||Depending on each shop, some prefer you to buy in bulk. However, you can inquire them if you can buy fabrics as sample abt 5-10 meters, sometimes they do take up. Try asking
|Do I have to wait for my fabric order?
||Normally they have their stocks within reach, so you can get your fabrics order right on the spot.
||Most of the time,Yes you do have to wait because their warehouse is elsewhere so they need to make contact for your order. some i read takes an hour or so, but for us they requested a day/ two days of delivery
||沿江东路429 号海印大厦 海印布艺城1-4/F, Haiyin Building, 429 Yanjiang Dong Lu, GUANGZHOU Guangzhou
||Zhongda Fabric Market
海珠区新港西路中大国际轻纺城 Xingang Xi LuChina Fabrics and Accessories Center
(广州国际轻纺城 — Guangzhou guo ji qing fang cheng）
|How to get there?
|| We didn’t take the metro, we took taxi , it was about 15 minute drive there.
||If by metro station > stop at Sun Yat Sen University, Exit D. Walk straight 200 meters after the exit and turn right on Ruikang Road. Then you will find fabric markets all over that street.By taxi from our Sino Trade Center hotel, took us about 20 minutes. The fare was about 20yuan.
Other good write up I look up before the trip was from these readers:
Michele Ng part 1 | part 2
Our translator name was Carrie, from ChinaFabrix . She came to our hotel and we all went together to Zhongda.
In case you’re wondering, we stayed at Sino Trade Centre Hotel which we highly recommended. Great location, easy public transport access, there’s 7-11 and Circle K , a bakery shop and if you’re a muslim there’s few blocks away a halal restaurant. In the morning there’s a flea market just behind the hotel and there’s a yummy yogurt seller nearby too.
All in all, based on our business needs & the time we have in Guangzhou we preferred HighSun Fabric Market. That being said given the chance we would definitely like to come again to Zhongda Fabric Market and maybe this time we might place our orders😉
I personally hope this entry inspired you readers to hop on that plane and explore this city!
Other places we went during this trip was One Link Plaza (selling lotsa toys, gifts and household items), Beijing Lu (fashion street) and One Link Walk (just to checkout Zara Home !).