THE SEWING DIVAS sewing, design, fashion

May 26, 2006

Women’s War Daily

Filed under: Fabric,Industry,Machines,Notions — georgene @ 4:52 am

by Diva Georgene 

My latest design job took me to Korea and Northern China for most of the month of May. Shenyang China is a stone’s throw from Seoul (less than 2 hrs flight), a thriving little town of about 4 million. As if that wasn’t far enough, I had to take a 2 1/2 hr drive to the town of Yingkou to get the factory where I would be setting the designs up for a Holiday 2006 knitted women’s suit collection.

In this far-off place I found an extremely modern well equiped factory with state of the art German knitting machines from Stoll.

The embroidery department was awe-inspiring with multi-head machines.

I did get to take a couple of field trips to the wholesale fabric and trims market in a nearby town. The market opens in the middle of the night so that people from far-flung places can come and make their purchases and get back to their shops in time to open for business at the regular hour. By 2 or 3 in the afternoon it becomes deserted.

Above is MariAn, my translator. I traveled with a team, including 2 Chinese-speaking Korean technicians, and MariAn. She not only had to translate, she had to learn about knitting technology in order to be able to explain my comments to the technicians (who had only a smattering of English) and to the factory.

Its a covered 2-story market with row after row of alley-like streets of small shops. Some are no bigger than a walk-in closet in an Upper West Side NYC pre-war apartment. (5’x8′?) Most shops have a specialty – hang tags and size tickets in one, fusibles in another. Yet another nearby with elastic and buttons, another with rivets and snaps, but no sew thru buttons.
It was amazing, becuase I’m sure that those of us who search in despair for that perfect button or trim, and sigh at the lack of choice – what would you say to an acre of tiny shops with everything under the sun??

In spite of the vastness of the selection, I couldn’t find the precise buttons and buckles I needed, so I got sent back to Seoul to go to the market there. I will tell you all about that on another post.

PS Please do not invite me for Chinese food for at least 6 months or a year, OK?



  1. Oh Georgene, this is soooo fascinating. Welcome home and thanks for posting this!

    Comment by Mary Beth — May 26, 2006 @ 4:59 am

  2. Wow Georgene, talk about adventures! I can’t wait to see the fruits of your labor.

    Comment by Gorgeous Things — May 26, 2006 @ 4:59 am

  3. Wow, what an adventure! I can’t wait to hear and see more. But, we’re glad to have you back. 🙂

    Comment by Gigi — May 26, 2006 @ 5:20 am

  4. Georgene thanks for telling about your adventures and the pictures.I am looking forward to hear and see more about your trip. Enjoy your real American food again.

    Comment by Els — May 26, 2006 @ 5:25 am

  5. Wow, that’s so interesting! Thanks for the pictures and descriptions. I can’t wait to hear more about your trip!

    Comment by jemgirlca — May 26, 2006 @ 6:07 am

  6. Wow – all that technology is really impressive! I loved the contrast between the 21st sntury factory floor and the 19th century retail environment. Phyllis

    Comment by Anonymous — May 26, 2006 @ 7:07 am

  7. Thank you for taking us inside a world that 99% of us would never see. What an education this site is. How was the Chinese food? :O)

    Comment by priscilla — December 31, 2006 @ 9:23 am

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