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Sham Shui Po: a crafter's and artisan's dream

Time Out Hong Kong
  • Written 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 streetstraditional 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 Get me there {{title}} Address {{address}} Website {{website}} More info — 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 (Address: 219 Yu Chau Street, Sham Shui Po, Kowloon ; Tel: +852 2498 8609), which offers a wide range of beads, buttons, ribbons and even high-quality Swarovski crystals. Another recommended store is Mee Ngai Wah (Address: 289-291 Yu Chau Street, Sham Shui Po, Kowloon ; Tel: +852 2386 9431), which specialises in costume jewellery, especially those made from sterling silver.

Ki Lung Street (Button Street)

Ki Lung Street (Button Street)

Ki Lung Street Get me there {{title}} Address {{address}} Website {{website}} More info 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.

Tai Nan Street (Leather Street)

Tai Nan Street (Leather Street)

During the peak of Hong Kong’s manufacturing boom, Tai Nan Street Get me there {{title}} Address {{address}} Website {{website}} More info was home to many factories that produced leather, fabrics and accessories. Today, only a handful of vendors from that era remain, including Luen Cheong Leather Hong Kong (Address: 173 Tai Nan Street, Sham Shui Po, Kowloon ; Tel: +852 2393 5926), 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 (Address: 189 Tai Nan Street, Sham Shui Po, Kowloon ; Tel: +852 3791 2217) and Brothers Leathercraft (Address: 207-209 Tai Nan Street, Sham Shui Po, Kowloon ; Tel: +852 9136 0897), which offer quality hides as well as workshops that teach aspiring craftsmen how to make their very own leather goods.

Nam Cheong Street (Ribbon Street)

Nam Cheong Street (Ribbon Street)

Nam Cheong Street Get me there {{title}} Address {{address}} Website {{website}} More info 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.

Yen Chow Street Temporary Hawker Bazaar

Yen Chow Street Temporary Hawker Bazaar

With 40 odd years of history,  Yen Chow Street Temporary Hawker Bazaar Get me there {{title}} Address {{address}} Website {{website}} More info has a roof built with corrugated metal, plastic sheets and tarpaulins, and sells fabrics in various colours, patterns and materials.

Cheung Sha Wan Fashion Road

Cheung Sha Wan Fashion Road

A great place to score a real fashion bargain,  Cheung Sha Wan Fashion Road Get me there {{title}} Address {{address}} Website {{website}} More info 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!


Traditional artisans

Sun Cheong Sewing Machine Company

Sun Cheong Sewing Machine Company Get me there {{title}} Address {{address}} Website {{website}} More info

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.

Boma Tailor Hong Kong

Boma Tailor Hong Kong

Originally established on Nam Cheong Street in 1981, Boma Tailor Get me there {{title}} Address {{address}} Website {{website}} More info 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.

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 Get me there {{title}} Address {{address}} Website {{website}} More info also sells pillows, mattresses and bed covers.


New sense of style

Doughnut

Doughnut

A rising local designer backpack label, Doughnut Get me there {{title}} Address {{address}} Website {{website}} More info 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.

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 Get me there {{title}} Address {{address}} Website {{website}} More info ’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.

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Information in this article is subject to change without advance notice. Please contact the relevant product or service providers for enquiries.

The Hong Kong Tourism Board disclaims any liability as to the quality or fitness for purpose of third party products and services; and makes no representation or warranty as to the accuracy, adequacy or reliability of any information contained herein.


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