Fabric Shopping Shanghai Style

My family and I just returned from a nine-day trip to Shanghai and Hangzhou and I don’t even have to tell you how much I’ve enjoyed fabric shopping in Shanghai. There were fabrics which I have never seen and at pretty good prices too. That said, I only had time to visit one fabric market! There are probably a few others worth visiting in Shanghai if you have the time. The place I went crazy fabric buying is called the South Bund Soft-Spinning Material Market. It is located at 399 Lujiabang Lu in Puxi.

Here you will find three floors of fabric stores with all of them provide tailoring services to those who do not sew. Due to space constraints, some of the stores display smaller pieces of the fabrics they sell. Once you have placed your order, they will go to their storage which might be 10 minutes away to fetch your order. If the fabric is more pricey, they might request for a partial deposit in case you change your mind before the fabric arrives. For a small fee, your order can also be delivered to your hotel. There were MANY stores selling silk and linen. I bought quite a bit of linen as they were available in an amazing number of hues. While linen is readily available in Singapore, they are usually from Japan and comes in more subtle shades. My purchases include these lovely linen in lime and cherry as well as a black linen piece with embroidery.

The only cotton (excluding cotton jersey) with a slight one way stretch which I could previously find were the stretch cotton sateen I found at Spotlight (like the fabric I used for this dress). These were slightly heavier than ordinary cotton but I loved them for the slight stretch. There was one store at the materials market which sold my dream fabric, stretch cotton! These look and feel more like ordinary cotton and are lighter than sateen. I love them in these plaid/ gingham prints!
Here’s a picture of the store in case you are visiting Shanghai and are interested to give these stretchy cotton a try, just like me.
Located at the ground floor,  it’s store 157. What I really love are these stretchy cotton with a satin like finishing from the same store. The photos do not do the fabric justice as the effect of the finish is not well captured. I bought them in black and lavender but it’s also available in apple green, turquoise and white.
I was also on a look out for wool fabric for my Lady Grey but didn’t find one that I wanted for the coat so I think I might turn my muslin into a wearable coat. Instead, I was attracted to this border print wool fabric which I want to sew into a simple tiny coat someday. The seller couldn’t tell me but I suspect this is a designer fabric.  It is only available at store 238 on the first floor. In fact, there were many unique wool fabric at this store so it is worth checking out!

Also spotted were stores specializing in a wide variety of denim and jersey fabrics. Most store owners speak some English so communication should not be an issue. Besides fabrics, I snapped up elastic laces and buttons at the market.  A happy and satisfied shopper! Just wished I had more muscles and space in my luggage :P
I almost forgot to mention that I received a hundred spools of threads just before I went on vacation. I’m so blessed as I won a giveaway on Sew Retro sometime back. It’s a good mix of colors that will last me for some time :)
In my last post, I mentioned that I would be attempting a Self-Stitched Shanghai vacation. I am in the process of sorting out the photos and will do an update soon. Meanwhile, I am gonna start on my Lady Grey. I was a little disappointed that I couldn’t complete that before my trip with all that packing but it turned out to be a blessing in disguise as Shanghai’s weather was very mild so I wouldn’t have needed it anyways.
I hope you have all been well! I have missed blogging, sewing and responding to comments for the past two weeks so I’m gonna start getting my sewing groove back!
Have a blessed week everyone!
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9 thoughts on “Fabric Shopping Shanghai Style

  1. I make my 31 year son trousers with elastic waists and cuffs. He mainly wears them around the house but sometimes goes out in them for fishing or quick shopping at the supermarket.
    Only tonight I was saying I was so sorry i couldn’t find more cotton with the elastine in it. Your fabric sounds just like I want.
    Oh to have just a few hours in Shanghai or Bejing to roam around such a centre

  2. Lucky you, Shangai must be a fascinating place to visit, and those fabrics you brought back are gorgeous, especially the lime and pink linens!

  3. I have missed your blog but I am so happy for you, winning thread (wow) and having such a fun trip. The picture of you and your family is beautiful BTW. I can’t wait to see what you sew next now that you are home. I know this is a sewing blog but what else did you do on your vacation? I have never been to your part of the world and would love to hear more about it. Blessings to you and all the posters too.

  4. Irene :
    I make my 31 year son trousers with elastic waists and cuffs. He mainly wears them around the house but sometimes goes out in them for fishing or quick shopping at the supermarket.
    Only tonight I was saying I was so sorry i couldn’t find more cotton with the elastine in it. Your fabric sounds just like I want.
    Oh to have just a few hours in Shanghai or Bejing to roam around such a centre

    I think they are perfect for your purpose too and I wish I could find more of such fabric locally so I totally understand!

  5. Sue :
    I have missed your blog but I am so happy for you, winning thread (wow) and having such a fun trip. The picture of you and your family is beautiful BTW. I can’t wait to see what you sew next now that you are home. I know this is a sewing blog but what else did you do on your vacation? I have never been to your part of the world and would love to hear more about it. Blessings to you and all the posters too.

    Thank you so much for saying that! I am happy to know someone actually misses my blogs! I am hoping to do a Self Stitched Shanghai post soon so I will definitely include other details on my vacation in it :)

  6. Glad to see you back. I miss your inspired pieces. And look! I see it popping up in the fabrics you brought back. I love the burst of colour in those linens especially. Looking forward to your Self-Stitched Shanghai posts to see more of the place as I haven’t been there myself.

  7. Pingback: Self-Stitched Shanghai! « The Sew Convert

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