We've already established that the leather items, bags and shoes, produced and offered in Hoi An are some of the products Hoi An is most famous for. But that's not the only shopping highlight Hoi An has in store for you.
Besides high-quality leather, Vietnam has a great reputation for silk and tailored clothes. In this post we recommend a few of our favourite places in Hoi An, where to enjoy good service and a smooth shopping experience. So you will remember this beautiful town and its people fondly, when looking at your new acquisitions back home.
You might have heard of the precious Vietnamese Silk and seen images of silk being spun in underlit factories by elderly ladies in your travel guide.
Once used as a currency in trade, silk has always had high value for Vietnamese people. Formerly only purchased and owned by the wealthy population, good quality silk can now be acquired by a broader range of people, due to lower prices.
Silk production in Vietnam is mainly happening in the North, around Hanoi. In Lam Dong Province 70% of the country's silk production is happening. Through a total of 15 businesses. These businesses own modern automatic silkworm nursing lines, which are capable of producing over two tonnes of silk per day. One of the ancient silk is Ha Dong, where Van Phuc silk village is situated.
Also in our colorful town of Hoi An, silk is plenty to be found and in popular demand. In the Hoi An Silk Village you can observe the manufacturing process first hand. It might not be as adventurous as cycling out to the small silk factory about 30km outside of town, but it's more accessible and offers silk garments right next door.
Where to by Silk in Hoi An?
Many silk shops and tailors obtain their fabric from some of the silk hot spots in the North of the country and design and develop the silk into garments locally. The above mentioned Hoi An Silk Village is a safe bet for a joyful shopping experience and top notch silk quality. Cocoon Silk in Hoi An is one of the best rated silk shops in Hoi An that we can recommend.
How do you know the Silk is real?
Similarly to the leather test performed with a lighter, also real silk will stand the heat test. Just hold the flame close to the fabric. No worries, if the quality is pure the silk will not catch fire 🙂
As does Da Bao for leather bags, some silk shops even demonstrate the test right in front of your eyes. This is also done at Cocoon Silk in Hoi An.
If you're looking for the real deal, be careful not to fall for the fake silk that's sold too cheaply in some of the souvenir shops, often in form of sleeping bags. While this might be some kind of silk, it is not high quality.
Buy Vietnamese Silk online
If you are not in Hoi An (anymore), but would love a real silk scarf or unique silk dress from the region, we can highly recommend Hannah's Silk Gifts. A talented creative from Hoi An who owns a small successful online shop. We vouch for top notch customer service and quality. Lovely Hang is shipping worldwide.
Hoi An Now and Hidden Hoi An have dedicated huge sections of their shopping guides to tailors. No wonder, as how wouldn't you feel overwhelmed with over 200 tailors in town. Some sources even say 400. Each and everyone of them promising the best quality and lowest price. If you're looking for a bargain, visit the Cloth Market at the Central Market. If you don't know where to start and getting uneasy fighting off too many offers hollered at you from all corners of the market - We like Bi Tailor within the Cloth Market. Bi speak English really well and is a super skilled tailor.
If you're looking for a more luxurious tailoring experience and high-quality suits or even a Wedding dress, there are a few well-established tailors in town that are safe to go to. Be Be Tailor and Kimmy are two of the best known tailors. Hidden Hoi An offers rather up to date tailor recommendations according to price range, which is very helpful if you don't want to spend too many millions. Vietnamese Dong that is of course.
It's easy to spend an entire 10 days holiday getting suits made - We've seen it happen!
If you'd like to have your own tailoring experience and dive right in. No problem either. Most tailors, small and big, in Hoi An are very skilled, as the craft is passed on from generation to generation. The price difference can mainly be seen in the quality and variety of the fabric.
If you're after a simple cotton dress, trousers, or just want to get your clothes amended, take your pick by trusting your gut feeling and choose the tailor who offers you the most authentic smile.
A good approach is always to bring a picture of a dress you'd like made, if you've seen one in a magazine before. Or just bring your favorite clothes from home and use it as a base to get it copied, maybe with some additional creative features.
As the creation process of a suit or dress takes several fittings, make sure not to order too many items, as surely you want to see more of Hoi An than the inside of a tailor.