Fabric Market Tours – Shanghai, China
About this place
I think I’m in love. It happened so fast. One minute I was in a taxi and the next, I caught glimpses from under my umbrella…
Yes, I just returned from my first trip to Shanghai’s famous fabric market. I had put it off the visit for two years but, with no trip back to the UK in sight, my desire for new clothes overtook my reticence. I had heard the horror stories of overpricing, shop owners refusing to bargain, and overwhelming crowds. These rumors succeeded in keeping me away from the market. I finally pushed these scary thoughts out of my mind, and made for the market. It was a complete experience within itself.
I thoroughly enjoyed it. The shop owners, as reported, wouldn’t bargain. It didn’t matter though. If I didn’t like the price, I simply walked away and found a better one. No harm no foul. I came away with 2 pairs of jeans, 2 pairs of dress trousers, 2 pairs of casual linen trousers and four tailored and fitted v-neck t-shirts for little over 1000RMB (about $125 USD). Now some of you may be screaming blue murder right now but bare in mind, I am a bigger gal needing more fabric. Compared to UK prices, it was an absolute snip.
My favorites were Shop/Stall Numbers....
142: Casual linen trousers at around 100RMB each
157: The nicest woman who gave great prices for denim and trousers
168: Fitted V-neck T-shirts at 70RMB each
Remember that you pay for the fabric, and the cost to make the clothing is then included. Some will speak English, but don’t be put off if they don’t. This is the time to utilize some serious body language! As is often the case in China, the language barrier can be part of the fun. If you suspect you are being ripped off, just walk away. A quick tip is to go in the morning, on a weekday,and in bad weather if possible. It rained something chronic the day of my visit. The market was empty as a result, and hence, I got the best prices.
I will be headed back to the fabric market soon to pick up the clothes next week. I will also be ordering some silk, suede, and a suit. I will update prices upon my return.
Enjoy the fabric market! I definitely prefer it to Xiangyang market.
Update: The fabric market recently moved, so Vikki’s favorite stalls may have different numbers. My advice is to carefully examine the clothes that the shop owners have hanging up and ask yourself some simple questions. Are the seams well done? Do the proportions look right? Are the styles to your liking? Those more permanent to Shanghai can go and have one thing made at a certain stall first. If the first item meets your fancy, then order more!
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Here is not only for women, but also for men if you need a suit made.
Get some barging skills before you go. :DD