29 July 2013

Sunday Stash: Dongdaemun Fabric Market

I've never posted a Sunday Stash before, but I've also never been to a 5 storey fabric market that takes up a whole block before!

On Saturday, I went to the Dongdaemun Fabric Market (Dongdaemun means East Big Gate, presumably there is also an East Small Gate but I've not encountered it). Dongdaemun in general is a shopping Mecca, especially for shoes, clothes, and bags. What sets it apart from other big shopping areas in Seoul, such as Namdaemun (South Big Gate) and Myeongdong, is the fabric and notions. There are two separate fabric/ribbons/buttons/zippers/sequins/etc market areas and I went to the bigger one. It's 5 floors of, well, everything. The only down side is that the majority of the fabric is intended for clothes, especially the traditional Korean dress called Hanbok, so it's not really suitable for quilting (unless you want to make a leather and fur quilt with lace on top...). If I made clothes with any regularity, this would be the place to get supplies.

Clockwise starting upper left: ribbons and lace, zippers, floor to ceiling fabric bolts, fur samples

And now to my haul! I ended up with at least one yard (or meter) of 12 different fabrics. Some stalls do yards and some stalls do meters, but all do pretty cheap. The most expensive fabric was ₩6000 per yd (slightly less than US$6) and the least expensive was ₩3000 per m. The standard price is ₩5000 per yd/m and remnants go for ₩2000 per y/m. The only downside is that you have to get at least 1 yd/m (fat quarters don't seem to exist in Korea) and sometimes stalls have a 2 yd minimum but they will usually cut you only 1 yd for a little extra if you make sad faces (which is how I ended up paying ₩6000 a yard).

This picture doesn't really due them justice... Anyway, the tough part was divvying them up...

Naturally, I wouldn't buy a fabric if I didn't at least kind of like it, but the original purpose of going to Dongdaemun was to get a gift for my mom. So, some intense agony of indecision followed my day of uncontrolled buying.

A close up of the sheep - so cute! but who should get them?

This one was hands down for my mom.

And this one was definitely for me.

But what about this beauty?

In the end, I came up with what I deem a fair distribution. And even if it's not fair, my mom will never know because she doesn't read my blog. Also, she probably isn't expecting a gift so whatever I give her will automatically seem awesome to her. At least that's what I'm going to tell myself.

The final distribution.       Top row: mine        Bottom row: mom's

Luckily, I had two yards of the sheep so I cut it in half and we both got some. My mom's pile is definitely more pink than my pile, which is a good thing. I gave mom the really nice panel-y one with the vase and bird because I wanted the 4 m of strawberries all to myself. I could have also split that one, but I think it would make a great backing so I want a big piece.

I don't know what my mom will do with her gift, but I hope she incorporates them into something grand. Maybe one of them will end up in the double wedding ring quilt she's supposed to be making for my brother! As for my share, I only have an inkling of an idea for one of them (the white, orange, and turquoise flowery one). I've been kind of inspired by the Korean architecture from my visits to the palaces in Seoul, so I want to do something incorporating those shapes/designs. Like I said, I only have an inkling of an idea ^_^

Can't you just see some of this stone/wood work as a quilt?

I'm linking to Sunday Stash @ Finding Fifth. Check it out!


  1. Nice haul! I really like those elephants in your mom's stack!

  2. Oh welcome to Sunday Stash. So glad you were brave enough to post. Yes i think those Korean brick designs are quite inspiring.