UPDATE – please read the comments. People have identified shops that have moved and there are tips and tricks! Thanks to all the helpful commenters.If you are a committed craft shopper and traveller, a trip to Hong Kong should be on your list of things to do. The garment district in Hong Kong is massive (much, much larger than the garment district in New York). Hong Kong is easy for English speakers to get around, with a superb public transport system that is one of the easiest to negotiate in the world. The mass transit system in Hong Kong is called the MTR. Every stop on the MTR is announced in Cantonese, English and Mandarin, and every carriage has an illuminated map (pictured above – sorry for the blurry photo) which shows you clearly where the train has been, and where it is going.While there are lots of places in Hong Kong to buy fabric, some of the best bargains are to be had on Ki Lung St between Wong Chuk St and Shek Kip Mei St. On my last visit to Hong Kong, I was shown this area in detail by some of the Hong Kong knit bloggers. They really know their fabrics, and helped me purchase some lovely floppy grey knit fabric, which appeared to be a cotton viscose blend, 5 yards for $HKD 60 (well under $US10 for 5 yards!).
Apart from fabric, all kinds of notions are sold, leather, fake fur ribbons. I haven’t taken any photos that really capture its scale, but there are lots and lots of options. I’ve been reliably informed that at various times Amy Butler and Liberty offcuts have been seen amongst the piles of material.For extra credit, you might try to track down Moon Yue Piece Goods, which is just around the corner in Shek Kip Mei St (1M3, Shek Kip Mei St, Sham Shui Po, Kowloon). To go there, ask for Moon Yue at this fabric stall (location marked on the map). Don’t worry, the 100% synthetic fabrics shown below are not indicative of what is to be found inside.
They have cashmere, tweed Chanel style suiting, Shanghai Tang offcuts, and 100% silk fabrics including jersey, voile and satin. They only accept cash, and haggling is not a feature of the shopping experience. In any event, limited English is spoken. I was at the end of a long day, and only had enough cash left for 3 yards of a Shanghai Tang stretch silk satin print for my mother. She is planning to make a tunic from it. The off-season fabrics are stored upstairs again, and entry into that room requires taking off your shoes, because you will literally be clambering over piles of rolls of material. I spotted some fabulous 100% cashmere suiting and coat fabrics, and would have shopped a lot more if I had the cash, and pattern information with me. I had not prepared well enough!
Like most shopping in Hong Kong, I would recommend going to Ki Lung St in the late morning or early afternoon. Wear comfortable shoes, and bring enough cash for all the bargains that you will find. To get there, take the MTR to Sham Shui Po and use exit A2. Follow the map (about 500 metres level walk), and walk down Ki Lung St until you see the market stalls.