I knew that Shanghai was a great place to shop for fabrics, but I totally underestimated how much they actually have. Once again I was with a group, none of whom were remotely interested in fabrics so was trying to find some time when I could wander off alone. Luckily someone kindly offered to baby-sit my daughter for me for one afternoon (she thought that going through the "fake" markets was much more interesting than hunting fabrics with her mother). Although I had the address of quite a few fabric markets in Shanghai, I started with South Bund Soft Spinning Material Market which seemed to be the most popular (and therefore probably the most expensive) among foreign tourists and expats. The market covers 3 floors of an old rather dark building but is jam packed with fabrics as well as tailors where you can have whatever you like made in 4 days! They had wool and cashmere for suits and coats, tons (literally tons!) of lightweight printed silks, linen in all sorts of weights, assorted jerseys, including cotton, cotton silk blends etc etc etc. All in all it was really quite overwhelming and after a while it just became so hard to make any decision on what to buy or what not to buy! Luckily I ran out of cash or I might still be there! Prices were about the same as Manila (between 40 and 60 Yuan / P230 to P400) but they had so much more choice of fabrics in natural fibers than we have here. I ended up coming home with these fabrics:
cotton silk border print
cotton stretch twill
cotton jersey with some lycra
I also bought some solid light weight linen for shirts but as the photos are not particularly interesting, I'll wait to post them until they are actually made into something. Of course I now regret not buying some silk...... I wonder if I could get a tour group together to go back to Shanghai again......