Sunday, 20 July 2008

Rainbows of ribbons

While I was in Hong Kong, I made a special visit to the area of Sham Shui Po. This is a little district north of the centre of Kowloon that I had heard was a paradise for crafters. There are several streets filled with wholesale shops selling fabric, beads, ribbons, trim, zips, sewing notions and so on. I only had a couple of hours, so just managed to look in a few ribbon and bead shops, but it certainly lived up to my expectations. Imagine tiny shops with aisles only wide enough for one person, crammed to the ceiling with rolls of ribbon of almost every shade, pattern and width you can imagine.

The three photos above show rolls of ric-rac, a wall of ribbon and a ribbon shop. I'm not sure if I was allowed to take photos, but no-one told me not to and I knew I couldn't blog about how great the shops were without some eye candy for you!

Though most of the shopkeepers I encountered spoke little English, and were used to dealing with people buying in bulk, they were only too happy to sell small quantities to me. I have to admit I did get a bit overwhelmed by all the choice and completely forgot what I already had in my stash at home. In the end I went for a few ribbons that "spoke" to me. From the picture below it looks like velvet, spots and stripes in bright colours are what caught my eye that day. The most I paid for any of these was around $1 NZD per yard. Most of it was about 50c per yard.

In addition to the ribbon shops, I also visited a few bead shops. I picked up some findings but resisted the urge to buy any beads as I knew my suitcase was getting rather full. Again the bead shops were tiny, crammed full of drawers and bags of beads. In one shop, they sold plastic beads by the pound (the spoon is for scooping up your selection):


I didn't make it to any of the fabric shops, but apparently they are just as good. If you are ever going through Hong Kong, I highly recommend a visit to Sham Shui Po. I can almost guarantee you will not come away empty-handed!

P.S. Craft2.0 was fantastic as always. This time I got to meet a few local lovely craft bloggers in person as well. It's nice to finally meet people that you only know online, although it does feel a bit stalkerish saying "Hi, I'm Louise, I read your blog". But Helen, Helen, Kimberley and Steph didn't run the other way screaming, so I must have come across as harmless. It was lovely to meet you ladies!

10 comments:

lovestitches said...

It was really nice to meet you, it's always so nice to put a face to the blog!

Those stripy ribbons are amazing. I could probably make a serious dent in that shops stock if I went near it.

Helen said...

Nice to meet you too! I didn't see Steph tho' *waves* OMG, wasn't it busy!

Poetic Painter said...

Wow...that must have been such a fun place to shop!

Helen said...

Great to meet you, Louise - and thanks for buying something from my stall! :)

I've really enjoyed hearing your travel stories, too.

x Helen

Kimberley said...

Stalker schmalker. You're always welcome to come visit Special K.

Miss Smith said...

Oh my. Your ribbons are fab, and the shopping sounds so overwhelming and wonderful. So very difficult to choose!

By the way, I think your robot mobile idea is a very good one. I like the way you think Miss 20 cent mixture!

Melissa said...

those ribbons are fab! i have really enjoyed catching up with your blog and your travelling adventures (and purchases- you have great taste!)

i can't tell you how sad i was to miss out on visiting craft 2.0 this time. so it's nice to be able to live vicariously through you- sounds like a lovely day!

Kate said...

Wow - those ribbons are amazing!

simone said...

I'm twitching... LOTS of ribbons, i would of been sooooo happy walking in there...

Little Grubs said...

Hi Louise - just found your lovely blog and thought I'd say hello. We're in the UK at moment but are heading back to NZ in October - we were toying with which route to take, Hong Kong being one of them - having seen the pictures I'll definitely be voting for HK!!! I'd already been reading about the fabric wholesalers so very interesting to all the trimmings and embellishments - you lucky lady! Will visit again soon. x