Taipei Things #23 & 24: Visit Di Hua Street & have a furoshiki made

2 Aug

Di Hua Street, Section 1

My friend Xiao Bih suggested that I visit 迪化街, which was absolutely fine with me because I love this old street. I had hoped to visit in the morning, but the rain on this day had kept me inside until it was too late to manage it before I met my friends for afternoon tea. Still, the place has its charms at night, and there were even some shops still open. Passing by one of the fabric shops, I realized that, although I wasn’t quite in the right place for it, I could fulfill @graphgetsen‘s suggestion that I get a furoshiki made.

After stopping in to ask the fabric store owner where I could get my bag made, I was off to the old market building in search of a seamstress. She was already closed, but the nice man at the store had called her and asked her to come out and meet me. While I waited, I came upon one of my favorite sights in Taiwan, which never fails to make me smile:

After watching for a bit, I was tempted to join in (and mostly surely would have been given a warm welcome, despite the fact that I don’t know any of the dances), but I was on a mission and the seamstress was waving me over from inside the closed gate of the market building. After trying to explain to her what I was after (which mostly consisted of showing her a picture on my iPhone), she said she’d be able to make what I wanted, and told me to come back with the fabrics.

Back to the fabric store, the owner was helpful with his suggestions, and I decided to get three different fabrics, which he gladly displayed for the camera:

A Japanese-style print, fitting for a furoshiki

Traditional Hakka flower print in red

Flowers in blue

I’m partial to the red because it’s the same fabric my dearest friend Shrchang uses in his clothing designs (see his collection, called 大囍堂,  here: http://shrchang.pixnet.net/blog), but had a hard time choosing the others. Frankly, I wanted to buy half the shop, despite the fact that I have no need for fabrics.

After making my purchases (very inexpensive, though I can’t recall now how much I paid), I headed back to the seamstress, who led me through the back door of the darkened building and into her small shop, which wasn’t much bigger than my bathroom. We talked prices, design, and another foreign girl who apparently comes to the same seamstress, and the lady let me take a few shots of her thread:

Waiting for their purposes in life

I don’t have any photos of the finished bags, but I’ll post them later, as soon as I have them. For now, here are some more images from Di Hua Street at night.

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2 Responses to “Taipei Things #23 & 24: Visit Di Hua Street & have a furoshiki made”

  1. Spieluhr December 27, 2011 at 11:18 pm #

    迪化街 ,such an old street.

  2. Furoshiki December 12, 2013 at 2:22 am #

    That’s cool you can get them made in Taipei. Great looking fabrics btw.

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