Best local Saigon markets for designers and crafters
Here are a few great places for sourcing materials that we have found after having spent a couple years manufacturing handbags in Vietnam; from material to hardware to paper to packaging string. We hope that both the local and expat designers among you, will find these recommendations useful for your projects!
1. Dai Quang Minh Market
Type of Products: Accessories
Address: 31, 33, 35 Chau Van Liem Street, ward 14, District 5.
This can be a heaven for Saigon creatives, since the market has numerous shops that sell countless accessories for sewing and crafting. Walking along the small alleyway on the outside of the market, which is called ‘Tong Duy Tan’, you might end up being surrounded by lots of gorgeous handmade merchandise, such as endless colorful strings, lovely artificial flowers, festive ribbons and non-woven textiles. There are sparkling glitter strings for decoration, fabric string for gift wrapping, metal strings, strings with diamantes for shoes and handbag design, as well as many other types of vibrant strings, which are sold by the meter or by the roll, depending on each shop owner’s preference.
One of our favorite things about this market are the sustainable hemp strings that are not only super cheap, but they also come in many sizes and colors to choose from. There are also shops that sell wooden buttons and beads, which are perfect for vintage-looking designs. Inside the market’s hall, you will will certainly marvel at the shelves full of cute buttons of all types, shapes and sizes, which are typically placed in their small plastic packs. You will also find various metal hardware and lace fabric shops here, along with places that sell wholesale zippers, metal hooks, clips and other hardwares that might just be perfect for your next project.
2. Soai Kinh Lam Fabric Market
Type of Products: Wholesale Fabric
Address: 465-473 Tran Hung Dao B street, District 5.
The Soai Kinh Lam Fabric Market, also known as ‘Dong Khanh Department Stores’, is considered to be the biggest fabric market in Saigon, with more than 500 stalls that offer an endless selection of cotton, corduroy, tartan, denim, velvet and chiffon. It’s easy to recognize the market from far away, thanks to the tons of huge and outrageously bright fabric rolls that are usually displayed along the streets. The speciality of this wholesale market is that each shop only sells a certain kind of fabric, with plentiful patterns and colors to choose from. Some of the best selling items of the Soai Kinh Lam market are the traditional materials for making Vietnamese “áo dài”, “áo bà ba” and Chinese cheongsam, such as “lãnh Mỹ A”, satin, silk and brocade. This is the perfect place for professional designers and tailors to source various materials at a low price from. However, if you are buying in small quantities, prices can still be fairly high. So taking a stroll among the stalls and shop around a bit before making a decision.
3. Streets around Tan Binh Market
Type of Products: Wholesale Fabric
Address: Le Minh Xuan Street, Ba Giai street, Tan Tien Street and Phu Hoa street in Tan Binh District.
If you are looking for fabric for your working suit design (like most tourists do), this place seems to be the most logical destination, as many wholesale fabric shops are located around Tan Binh Market. This region is not as crowded and busy as other wholesale markets, yet the sellers are very friendly and hardly overcharge you. Even when you only buy a couple of meters, they will still be very happy to sell fabric to you. Price can fluctuate among shops; it ranges approximately between 5,000 VND – 10,000 VND/meter for wholesale price, and 15,000 VND – 30,000 VND for retail price. The main products sold in these streets are clearance fabrics from export textile companies, therefore they are of higher quality than the products that can be found in the other marketplaces.
4. Phu Tho Hoa Street
Type of Products: Fabric Remnants
Address: Phu Tho hoa street, Phu Tho Hoa ward, Tan Phu District.
For many years, Phu tho Hoa Street has appeared to be a “fabric scrap street” to many local people. Only 1 kilometer long, this street has hundreds of fabric remnant businesses. The textiles are bought from different sewing contractors in Saigon, and then they are classified by hand, and sold to customers by the kilogram. Depending on the size of the scraps, they can be upcycled to make face masks, scrapbook covers, teddy bear stuffing, cushion covers, and aprons! Their price is usually amazingly cheap, 1 kilogram of fabric scraps would only cost around 5,000 VND – 20,000 VND. Since you can not order the same pattern, this is the place for upcycling lovers, who are not very picky about fabric design, when looking for the best materials for their projects.
5. In front of Tan Dinh Market
Type of Products: Fabric by kilogram
Address: 337 Hai Ba Trung street, District 1.
Another destination for fabric by the kilogram is the Trade Cooperatives Ward 8 District 3 on Hai Ba Trung street. There are only a few fabric shops located in front of the Tan Dinh Market, but they sell beautiful, high-quality and rare textiles, which are favored by many designers and fashion design students. The textiles that are sold here come in pieces that are large enough for making dresses, and are still sold by the kilogram. Their prices range from around 100,000 VND to 120,000 VND/kg. Make sure to check your products carefully, as some might have defects, such as stains or holes in the middle. Besides, these shops also offer collections of premium fabrics for the traditional “áo dài”.
6. Hai THuong Lan Ong Street
Type of Products: Wholesale and Retail Recycled Paper
Address: Hai Thuong Lan Ong street, District 5 (next to Kim Bien Market).
Although it’s not an official market, the part of Hai Thuong Lan Ong street next to Kim Bien Market is the best place to buy various kinds of new and recycled paper, with a very reasonable price. There are a few houses that appear to be overwhelmed with columns made of stacks of paper that reach high up to the roof, where you will find many types of paper, of different thickness and color. Recycled papers usually come in white, brown, grey, cream, ivory and orange. A good thing is that the retail price is almost the same among shops, so you don’t have to worry about being ripped off. However, it could be a good idea to ask around a couple of shops for quotes if you are going to be buying a fairly large amount; the shop owners here are very friendly and helpful. Whether you are looking for thin recycled papers for gift wrapping or thick brown kraft paper for your business cards, this place will definitely have you covered.
If you have any other recommendations, we’d love to hear! Please comment below, and share any stories you may have.
To learn more about finding suppliers in another country, please read our blog about “Tips for Fashion Designers: How to Find Suppliers in a Foreign Country”.