My husband was headed to the RISE 2018 tech conference in Hong Kong and I thought it was a good idea to tag along and make a side trip to Guangzhou, China. We have been to China in the past but have never visited Guangzhou. The main reason we went this time was to visit the Fabric City in the Zhongda area.
We were greeted by fabric stores containing hundreds of swatches the moment we stepped out of the Sun Yat Sen Station. And the stores continue the rest of the way into the main part of the Fabric City.
There were thousands of stores selling fabrics, lace, metal accessories, buttons, zippers, leather, almost anything you can think of. But I was looking for suitable bag-making fabrics and unfortunately, did not come across that many with cotton canvas or cotton-linen blends. I later found out that I may have been in the wrong district because the Zhongda Fabric City is more well known for clothes-making materials.
Here I am geeking out in a quieter building.
There are so many large complexes that are decked with all sorts of fabric and accessories stores from top to bottom. It was quite overwhelming. I only had a day to explore and picked one of the main buildings, which was called the Guangzhou Fabrics and Accessories Center. If you intend to use Google Maps to find the place, make sure to "star" the location and load the maps first because nothing with Google works in China. However, Apple Maps still works but it's not as comprehensive.
My husband took a video showing the chaos in that building. There were people, cars, trucks, bikes and bicycles all passing through the main floor of the mall. It was quite interesting. Unfortunately, I can't seem to upload videos on this blog so here's a link to the short clip.
You have to look through the swatches very carefully in each store. But there are so many stores that you have to pick only those that you think will carry what you want. These stores usually do large orders and most of them will not really organise shipping overseas so you'd need to find a forwarding company to have them deliver to. Also most stores will accept Alipay or WePay services and are more or less cashless.
Even though it was really overwhelming and we were quite exhausted by 5PM, partially due to the weather as we visited in July when it was summer and raining most of the time, it was an experience we cannot forget.