Time Out's Guide to Sham Shui Po DIY

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Arthur Tam sifts through Sham Shui Po’s fashion district and finds the best shops to help create your designs. Illustration by Carmen Ng


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Whether you’re new to the city or a veteran Hongkonger, the gritty yet colourful and culturally rich area of Sham Shui Po can be an intimidating area to navigate. Along with its multifarious local eateries, the Golden Computer Arcade and the Dragon Centre, Sham Shui Po is popularly known for its fashion district just off from the MTR A2 exit. Here you find street after street of shops selling beads, trim, buttons, leather, wool, pearls and tools – pretty much anything you need if you want to start making your own outfits. It’s a haven for fashion designers, crafts people and DIY fanatics. But if it’s your first time stepping foot in the area, it can be a bit overwhelming. To help you navigate through the clutter we’ve picked out a few user-friendly hotspots selling some of the best materials in the city. Follow our map so you don’t get lost. Bear in mind that most of the stores in this area are closed on the weekends, so the best time to come is from 11am-7pm on weekdays.

1 Tao Yuan Fashion Accessories (濤源愛珠飾品)
Candy-coloured beading
A visit to Tao Yuan is like walking into a sweet store. An assortment of colourful jars of rainbow beads and gemstones line the walls to create a vivid wonderland. Pick up a basket and start choosing your desired combination of beads, with the cost measured by the weight of your basket. 259 Yu Chau St, 2708 9923.

2 Shun Cheong Li Full (順昌利豐珠飾)
Feathers, tulle, costume beading
When Halloween rolls around, drop by Shun Cheongs to find costume beading, feathers, fabrics, tulle and a bunch of outlandish, bright and festive materials to help with a costume. The choices are colourful and are sure to bring some fun to your look. 206 Yu Chau St, 2729 0261.

3 CYH International Ltd (浩發製品有限公司)
Buttons galore
CYH has walls of different buttons ranging from metal, vintage, knots and horns at slightly lower prices than competitors in the area. Depending on the type of button, one gross (bag of 144) of buttons can go from $20 to $100. The staff here are extremely friendly and helpful, and if you’re lucky, they might even break a bun and share their lunch with you. 184 Yu Chau St, 2387 6683; cyh.com.hk.

4 Shing Tai Hong (成泰行)
Trim, tape, string and ribbon
It’s all in the details, which means you’re going to need the proper trim to add those finishing touches to your garment. Here, you find everything from piping and twist string to satin binding and reels of ribbon. Flat B, 108 Nam Cheong St, 2398 3938.

5 Woollen
Wool
This is one of the newest additions to the block and they carry a range of solid and print wool fabrics, suitable for outwear and overcoats for that cold three month stint. 140 Yu Chau St, 2390 9976.

6 Alri Star Leather Factory
Leather and tools
Besides boasting a selection of leathers costing $547 to $650 per piece, or $100 to $120 per metre, Alri also carries all the tools you need to start cutting and pounding away. Blades, chisels, hammers, gouges – you name it, they have it. On top of that, Alri also offers workshops off site, so beginners can learn how to put all these wonderful tools to good use. 236 Tai Nan St, 3791 2217; fb.com/alristarleatherfactory.

7 Toho Shoji (Hong Kong) Ltd (東寶產業有限公司)
Pearls, metal baubles and chains
At Toho Shoji, you’ll find reels of different silver and gold chains in various widths and formations to help you make your ideal accessory. You have to buy at least 5m, and the chains –  depending on the quality – range anywhere from $20 to $50 per metre. Go further into the two-store establishment and you find an assortment of metal ornaments.  218-220 Tai Nan St, 2395 5188.

8 MT Workshop
Crystals and jewels
If you are looking to bedazzle a clutch, shoes or a pair of sunglasses, this is a one-stop-shop for Swarovski crystals and semi-precious jewels. Prices generally range anywhere from $30 to $80 for a bag of crystals. There are a variety of sizes and shapes of crystals and jewels to select from, so you can find your perfect fit. 191-193 Tai Nan St, 2728 2518; meitathong.com.hk.

9 Luen Cheong Company (聯昌號)
Leather
For a variety of lamb and cow hide, come to this charming and nostalgic establishment. The store is stacked and littered with a broad range of leathers coming in a variety of different colours and types. 173 Tai Nan St, 2393 5926.

10 Wingtex Textile Company Ltd (順昌布行有限公司)
Cotton, twill, canvas
This shop carries everything – a variety of higher quality fabrications and well-designed prints. If you’re looking for this seasons in-trend patterns, Wingtex has got what you need,unlike the tacky alternatives. 148A Ki Lung St, 2393 9936.

11 Po Fai Textiles Co, Ltd(寶輝布業有限公司)
In-house designed fabrics
Separated into two stores – one for menswear fabrics and one for womenswear – Po Fai Textiles is one of the few establishments in this area that design their prints and fabrications. This means that the quality of prints is generally better than the mix of questionable designs from other places. They stock everything from chequered, camouflage, floral, herringbone and solid colour fabrics. 99 Yu Chau St, 2397 7700.

12 Po Tat Textile Company Ltd (寶達布行有限公司)
Textiles and denim
Though the selection of regular textiles are limited here, Po Tat houses the largest denim selection in the area. There are all different kinds of thread count and washes available to make your desired outfit. 106 Ki Lung St, 2381 3089.

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