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The Fabrics of Hong Kong

The Fabrics of Hong Kong

By Time Out Hong Kong

In the 1950s and 1960s, the area of Sham Shui Po became known as the heart of Hong Kong’s textiles manufacturing industry. Although the industry experienced a downturn in the 1980s, the area has remained popular with designers and craftsmen, thanks to the sheer variety and affordability of materials on offer. The best way to peruse these wares is by visiting the shopping streets, traditional artisans, and the new generation of creative entrepreneurs that bring a new sense of style to the neighbourhood.


Shopping streets

Yu Chau Street (Bead Street)
Yu Chau Street (Bead Street)

Yu Chau Street – also affectionately known as Bead Street – is where you can shop for all the beads and sewing supplies you’ll ever need. The stores stock everything from wood and plastic to glass, which can be used for handmade jewellery, bedazzling smartphones and even decorating gel nails. If you’re not sure where to start, try Mei Tat Hong, which offers a wide range of beads, buttons, ribbons and even high-quality Swarovski crystals. Another recommended store is Mee Ngai Wah, which specialises in costume jewellery, especially those made from sterling silver.

Mei Tat Hong
Address: 219 Yu Chau Street, Sham Shui Po, Kowloon
Tel: +852 2498 8609
Mee Ngai Wah
Address: 289-291 Yu Chau Street, Sham Shui Po, Kowloon
Tel: +852 2386 9431
Ki Lung Street (Button Street)
Ki Lung Street (Button Street)

Ki Lung Street is also known colloquially as Button Street due to the amount of wholesale vendors selling different types of garment fasteners. Aside from buttons, zippers and clasps, you’ll also find stores here that sell ready-to-wear pieces, as well as various textiles. In fact, Ki Lung Street is also home to a fabric market that’s frequented by local designers. If you want to pick up some fabric, note that most stalls start selling from the early morning and are closed over the weekends.

Address: Ki Lung Street, Sham Shui Po, Kowloon
Tai Nan Street (Leather Street)
Tai Nan Street (Leather Street)

During the peak of Hong Kong’s manufacturing boom, Tai Nan Street was home to a lot of factories that produced leather, fabrics and accessories. Today, only a handful of vendors from that era remain, including Luen Cheong Leather Hong Kong, which was established in 1948 and specialises in locally made vegetable tanned cow hides. In recent years, the street’s welcomed a second wave of artisans, such as Alri Star Leather Factory and Brothers Leathercraft, which offer quality hides as well as workshops that teach aspiring craftsmen how to make their very own leather goods.

Luen Cheong Leather Hong Kong
Address: 173 Tai Nan Street, Sham Shui Po, Kowloon
Tel: +852 2393 5926
Alri Star Leather Factory
Address: 189 Tai Nan Street, Sham Shui Po, Kowloon
Tel: +852 3791 2217
Brothers Leathercraft
Address: 207-209 Tai Nan Street, Sham Shui Po, Kowloon
Tel: +852 9136 0897
Nam Cheong Street (Ribbon Street)
Nam Cheong Street (Ribbon Street)

Nam Cheong Street was an integral part of Sham Shui Po’s textiles and manufacturing industry in the 1950s and 1960s. Even now, it’s one of the best places to find lace and ribbon in all sizes, shapes and colours. Mostly sold at wholesale prices, these ribbons and trimmings are great for DIY crafts or for brightening up any article of clothing.

Address: Nam Cheong Street, Sham Shui Po, Kowloon
Yen Chow Street Temporary Hawker Bazaar
Yen Chow Street Temporary Hawker Bazaar

With 40 odd years of history, this textiles market has a roof built with corrugated metal, plastic sheets and tarpaulins, and sells fabrics in various colours, patterns and materials.

Address: 373 Lai Chi Kok Road, Sham Shui Po, Kowloon
Cheung Sha Wan Fashion Road
Cheung Sha Wan Fashion Road

A great place to score a real fashion bargain, this long road boasts a wide array of shops selling fabrics, buttons, embellishments and ready-to-wear pieces – almost all at wholesale prices. Whether you’re looking for new outfits or an accessory to brighten up a dress, you can easily spend hours here, sifting through the dizzying range of products on offer. Happy shopping!

Address: Cheung Sha Wan Road, Sham Shui Po, Kowloon


Traditional artisans

Sun Cheong Sewing Machine Company
Sun Cheong Sewing Machine Company

This humble little store is always filled with sewing machines. The owner, Peter Yu, has been fixing sewing machines for more than 40 years, having inherited the trade from his father. Affectionately dubbed ‘Uncle Sewing Machine’ by his customers, Yu also sells second-hand machines, from basic domestic devices to vintage models that date back to the late 1800s.

Address: 297B Lai Chi Kok Road, Sham Shui Po, Kowloon
Tel: +852 2720 2111
Boma Tailor Hong Kong
Boma Tailor Hong Kong

Originally established on Nam Cheong Street in 1981, Boma Tailor has made its home on Wong Chuk Street since 1997. Owner Paul To is one of the few tailors left in Hong Kong who still creates high-quality bespoke suits that are all cut and sewn by hand and sold at affordable prices. From suit jackets to trousers, English to Italian cuts, whatever your needs may be, Boma will cater to them – and you can be assured that your suits are one-of-a-kind, custom-made just for you.

Address: 37 Wong Chuk Street, Sham Shui Po
Tel: +852 2720 7088
Hip Yee Hing Embroidery
Hip Yee Hing Embroidery

Hip Yee Hing’s founder learned how to make pure cotton bedding by hand while working as an apprentice in Shanghai. He’s since passed on the skills of this disappearing craft to his daughter, who now manages the store. The handwoven quilts aren’t cheap, but they’re exceptionally warm and sturdy and can last for decades. Aside from quilts, Hip Yee Hing also sells pillows, mattresses and bed covers.

Address: Shop 121, G/F, Block 20, Shek Kip Mei Estate, Nam Cheong Street, Sham Shui Po, Kowloon
Tel: +852 2779 1079


New sense of style


A rising local designer backpack label, Doughnut started as an online store before opening a boutique in Sham Shui Po in 2013. The brand has since expanded and now has several stores around Hong Kong. Its cute backpacks and hipster-esque luggage come in countless colours and sizes and are perfect for any outdoor adventure or fashion statement.

Address: 68 Fuk Wa Street, Sham Shui Po, Kowloon
Tel: +852 2386 3279
Website: www.doughnutofficial.com
Dude & Bestie
Dude & Bestie

Founded in 2012, this homegrown Hong Kong brand designs chic and functional bags for both men and women. Although you can shop for items on Dude & Bestie’s website, it is a pleasure to visit the brick-and-mortar shop in Sham Shui Po, which is fully stocked with the brand’s latest goods, ranging from practical briefcases to waterproof and wear-resistant bags ideal for the outdoors. You can even personalise your purchase with the shop’s vintage Kingsley hot foil stamping machine from the 1970s.

Address: 90 Fuk Wa Street, Sham Shui Po
Tel: +852 2766 1018
Website: www.dudebestie.com
See More

Quality Tourism Service

Explore more about traditional garment manufacturing in Sham Shui Po.

  • Lee Kung Man Knitting Factory (HK) Ltd
    Established in 1923, the company produces knitwear such as sweaters and wool undergarments. The warm and durable products are what keep shoppers flocking in.


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