Making Clothes in Shenzhen

Making Art

My first experience with making clothes at a fabric market was in Shanghai. Hong Kong sadly does not have anything like it and in lieu has pricier tailors and overpriced fabrics. However, just a hop skip and a jump over the border you will find consumers paradise. Traveling to the dark side can be intimating but have no fear! Here are a few tips and tricks to navigating your way to Shenzhen and then making fabulous frocks.

Simply take the the MTR to Lowu station which is the closest MTR station to the border. From Central station it will cost $46 HKD and an hour and some change each way. Upon arrival, you follow the signs to China Border Immigration. If you have a Hong Kong Residents card you can efficiently feed your card in the automatic machine like at the airport. From there you go through border control where they check your passport and Chinese Visa. The entire process takes about 30 minutes. You can get a Visa on arrival but not if you are America. thumb_IMG_1476_1024

Follow signs to Luohu Shopping Plaza and take the very slow and very small elevator to the 5th floor. There you will find stall after stall of tailors. You then find one that you like the look of. Most of them speak English and they frequently work with foreigners. Once they have your measurements, they accompany you to choose the fabric from separate fabric vendors. Before you do this though, negotiate the price of what you want made as the fabric is priced out separately. The price that they will first give you will be 2-4 times the price, then you can bargain down. Stand firm and be prepared to walk away, this also goes for the fabric. It is very important to go with an idea of what you want as there is so much choice that it can be very overwhelming.

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They deliver all finished garments to your address in Hong Kong for about $100 HKD which will take about 10 days. If you are unhappy with the fit, they will do tailoring for free, but the catch is that you have to make the trek back to do it. Lastly, note that the market is closed from the last week of January until after Chinese New Year.

Once Jessica measures you bust line, you’re friends for life!

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