Wednesday, November 25, 2009

Hoi An, Vietnam -- B'Lan Silk, tailor shop

Hoi An has a large number of tailors. There's quite a range of quality, but if you take the time to talk to other travellers, read reviews, and pick the shop carefully, you can walk out of here with a whole new wardrobe in just a few days. We came thinking we'd each get a few garments made, and toyed with the idea of having a suit made for Daniel. We ended up doing the suit, several shirts, 2 wool winter jackets for me, a skirt, a dress, etc -- turned around in 2 days (the suit and coats were actually ready overnight, just needed minor adjustments). For one of the dresses, we didn't even have a picture to go by -- just described more or less what we wanted. All turned out beautifully. Amazing... So needless to say, we'll be buying another suitcase to lug with us on the rest of the trip, but it was worth it.

B'Lan Silk

There are also cobblers here -- custom shoes made same day. We each got a pair of boots made, but haven't picked them up yet. Another post for that one...

This book is their bible - precise measurements go in the book, and small swatch of each fabric is stapled next to a description/drawing of the item.


I took a number of the photos on the blog with my iPhone -- it didn't get much attention in Saigon, but in Hoi An, people were fascinated by it. Here, 2 of the girls who work in the shop are playing with it and looking at our trip pictures from Saigon -- cell phones are very big here, and smart phones are much more expensive here than they are for us in the US (there's no phone-discount-with-contract kind of thing).

The shop is in a 200 year old house that's been in the shop owner's family for generations. Upstairs, they keep a number of family heirlooms and antiques -- shoppers are welcome to go upstairs and admire. In the below buddhist shrine, the 2 photos are the shop owner's grandparents.



11 comments:

  1. Way cool, Kim! What a great little shop. -- dewdad

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  2. Oh, good...two new wool coats, now there's no excuse to come back to Iowa! Your trip already looks amazing; I'm expecting a postcard from you two to arrive in about January!

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  3. Postcards?? I'm blogging, and now you want a postcard, too?!

    But yes, I won't freeze next time we come see you. However, I believe it's your turn to come to San Antonio next :)

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  4. I love this little tailor shop the best, all that beautiful fabric. The little shrine and museum is astonishing.

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  5. Trip looks like a lot of fun! :) -THU

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  6. That is so cool! Can't wait to see your new clothes, especially boots!

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  7. I'd really like to comment more, but this blog is a real pain in the ass...

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  8. Yeah, Kim. Make the blog so it's less of an ass pain. That's it ;>

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  9. Ignore the men behind the curtain.
    Keep on Bloggin'.

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  10. This shop wasn't all that unique for Hoi An, in being in a historic building and letting you poke around the building as you're shopping. That's how they draw you in off the street... :) But the people working in this one were very nice and took good care of us.

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  11. As a contrast, I got a few cheap cotton dresses made at another tailor shop, just a stall in the market, really -- the initial prices they quoted were even higher than the high-end shop, and one of the dresses came out a little funny. It looks cute on, but the seams inside are kind of a mess, and the zipper is a completely different color than the rest of the dress. It may well fall apart if I ever put it in the washing machine. But that was a fun experience, too.

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