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Forum > Fabrics and more... > Traveling to Seoul, South Korea ( Moderated by CynthiaSue)

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Traveling to Seoul, South Korea
Looking for fabric shops
Melinda Ally
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Melinda Ally  Friend of PR
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Date: 5/23/09 11:50 AM

I'll be traveling to South Korea and am looking for recommendations for fabric shops in Seoul and Busan.

minggiddylooloo
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minggiddylooloo  Friend of PR
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Date: 5/23/09 2:05 PM

DH is leaving to move to South Korea at Osan on Tuesday. AmyMay sent me directions to a giant fabric store in Seoul, I'll find my PM from and send it to you. Don't know about Busan though.

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Nancy K
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Nancy K
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In reply to Melinda Ally


Date: 5/23/09 7:54 PM

Can't tell you about the fabric shops, but my dd who lives in Korea did a weekend with friends to Busan and swam with the sharks in the aquarium there. Her friend took pictures of the people watching them. Very cool.

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Kathleen Fasanella
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Kathleen Fasanella  Friend of PR
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Date: 5/26/09 10:57 AM

Sorry I can't help you but I did want to mention a little known secret. It's Korea that produces the highest quality fabrics at the lowest cost. Seriously.

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Amy-may
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Amy-may
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Date: 5/27/09 2:36 PM

Take the subway to Dongdemun (not Dongdemum Staduim). The fabric market is on the north west corner. It's greatest feature is the large parking lot in front of the 4 building complex. (It would be very normal in the suburbs, but not in Seoul.) There are 4 buildings /4-5 floors each, with everything sewing. The best deals are on quilting cottons (moda runs less than $3 yard) but the garment fabric is truly overwhelming. The great part is all the dyed to match trims and zippers.

Aside from the fabric market, there really aren't any fabric stores. Allot a couple of days if you can to fully explore the fabric market. Do realize that they primarily sell wholesale, some vendors will insist "no cut, sell all" I have a few 10-20 yard pieces because I really wanted it for $1 yard. But, if you get that answer, just keep moving, there are 100s more vendors. Do not attempt to take a rolling shopper. The aisles are too narrow. A backpack is your best bet.

Do not anticipate buying "Oriental" prints. They don't really exist there, mostly just a figment of American imagination. Silks are reasonable but not cheap.

Have a blast, I would love to return to Seoul just for the fabric market! (I cried the last time I left the market!)

Marylou86
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Date: 1/17/10 6:30 PM

Hi, thank you for that info. My husband and I are going to be teaching English in Seoul and I cant wait to get the the fabric market. Do you know if you can get sewing machines anywhere in Seoul? I could live without my serger, but I wont last a whole year without my machine :)

Robin Denning
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Robin Denning  Friend of PR
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In reply to Marylou86


Date: 1/17/10 9:09 PM

that is exciting.
My DD teaches English in Seoul and I am going to visit her in February. She has been there for over a year and she loves it. I am sure they have sewing machines in Korea!

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minggiddylooloo
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minggiddylooloo  Friend of PR
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Date: 1/18/10 8:57 AM

Just went to one of the sewing machine areas in Seoul this past weekend, as well as two trips to the DongDaeMun fabric market. If you're looking for industrial sewing machines, they have plenty here. If you want one new you're looking at about 700,000Won, and 350,000Won for used (including table). They have many Korean brand machines like Unicorn and Silverstar, as well as Juki, Brother, Singer, Bernina and Janome. If you want a "foreign" brand machine expect to pay greatly as import taxes on everything is high here. I went into a shop that actually had some vintage singers and they wanted 480,000Won for them... kinda expensive. I didn't ask about new "home" use machines since I'm shopping around for industrial or vintage machines (both here and stateside) so I don't have prices on that. I can look into if you like.

If any of you would like to meet up to go to DongDaeMun, I am up there almost on a weekly basis. I have been taking note of where specific vendors are and know my way around the place quite well.

I am going to be out of the country for a couple of weeks in February so if we don't get to meet up here are the directions to DDM and to the sewing machine area (I also read they sell sewing machines at the Yongsan electronics market but have yet made my way out there to confirm).

DongDaeMun Shopping Complex where they have the fabric/craft buildings is exit 9 on the DongDaeMun stop on subway line 1 or 4. (Interactive map of Seoul Subway here)

Sewing machine parts arcade is Euljiro-4 stop on line 2, either exit 2 or 5 will do since they come out on two sides of the street and there are vendors all along both sides.

Prices here for fabric are a bit cheaper, or comparable to shopping in the US. It's not dirt cheap, that's for sure. Notions however, if they are made here or in China, are definitely cheaper (zippers, low shank feet, drafting rulers, interfacing/hymo/wigan, etc). Stuff imported from Japan (i.e. Clover brand) will be a bit more than stateside.

There is also another market that sells fabric remnants near DDM that might have better prices since DongDaeMun caters more towards wholesalers and some vendors are adamant about minimum yardage cuts (we ran into one that wanted 500 yard minimums this weekend). Many vendors might give slight discounts and most are willing to cut amounts for the home buyer.

I wrote a long post on DongDaeMun fabric market in the sewing stores review. If you have any more questions about this place just let me know... I am trying to become an expert during my time here and I am definitely well on my way with my notes

Edit: Just wanted to say that prices for some fabrics can be pretty cheap, but quality stuff like wools and silks will definitely be comparable unless you find remnants or know where to go.Surprisingly there aren't a ton of silk vendors at DongDaeMun, lots of wool, cotton, and synthetics though.

I also highly recommend going to one of the Kyobo bookstores to look for Japanese (or Korean) craft books. One of their locations is exit 3 at Gwanghamun station on line 5. This one has more Japanese craft magazines and books (in the Foreign books annex), as well as a slightly larger pattern drafting/fashion design Korean section (section E in the Korean book area). The other Kyobo bookstore is exit 7 on line 9 at the Sinoonhyeon stop. The patterndrafting section is in the Art/Photography area, which is right next to the Foreign books part of the bookstore. Little less selection but still impressive.
-- Edited on 1/18/10 9:07 AM --

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sewming.blogspot.com

Nancy K
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In reply to Marylou86


Date: 1/18/10 9:03 AM

My dd, also teaching English in Korea for the past year has a dear friend who sews and bought herself a sewing machine and serger. If you are not tiny, finding clothing will be hard for your dh too. The foreign area in Seoul has more, but not a lot. Alex is 5'3 and a size small or medium here. There she is a large. Her biggest issue is finding bottoms to fit her curves. Korean girls do not have curves. She does like buying tight there. She doesn't have to roll them up.

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minggiddylooloo
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Date: 1/18/10 9:10 AM

Yes, Korean girls are waifish thin and some get cosmetic surgery to take out their calf muscles so they will atrophy and not get "fat". No joke.

If you are small though, dressing cute is pretty inexpensive given such vast access to cheaper clothing here.....

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I'm finally a blogger!
sewming.blogspot.com

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