Apr 21, 2012

Printastic finds at Bến Thành Market

Behind Saigon's fledgling luxury retail stands a thriving fabric business that is mainly concentrated in Bến Thành Market. Despite its touristy location I did find that this is the best place for arguably the most affordable fabrics with amazing prints you could find in Vietnam (I also visited the almost-similarly-named Ben Thay market but the selection there is much limited).


I was spoilt for choices as rows and rows of fabrics being stacked in each tiny, packed shop. My attention was drawn towards the first shop near the side entrance of the market, where the lady seller is able to converse in Malay quite excellently. Here, the fabrics are already cut into 3.5 to 4 metres each, with prices ranging from MYR(Malaysian Ringgit) 25 to MYR30 for English cotton fabrics and, expectedly, they also stock the more luxurious, hence pricier fabrics such as chiffon.

I spy a Marni-at-H&M-esque print (far right)


I got myself two rolls of Liberty-esque paisley prints and a piece of cloth with tiny black-and-white prints. I'm considering to make a shirt or two out of these, and perhaps even a pair of trousers from the paisley print!

As I delved deeper into the market I was continuously amazed by other items they have to offer. In this case, I suspect Malaysian ladies will be stunned in disbelief when they saw these ready-made Baju Kurungs complete with intricate beadwork, all at a bottom-rock price. Most pieces are sold at around MYR50 (which is around £10) - literally dirt cheap considering the fact that the beads are painstakingly handsewn into each collar and sleeve!

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My little sister snagged this cheeky sock-print Baju Kurung with the loveliest dark blue background. 

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I 'd say the trip to the market had knocked my socks off! (pun intended)

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