Friday, December 9, 2011

Shopping for Fabric at Gwangjung Market

Today I went into Seoul to meet up with KJ, my bojagi teacher, to do some serious fabric shopping at her favorite place to shop, Gwangjung Market.  The day sure didn't start out like I had hoped.  I was waiting to cross the street to catch the bus to Seoul when I saw my bus pull up.  I hate when that happens but I was finally able to cross the street and I took up the spot as first in line for the 7770 bus which goes to Sadang Station in Seoul.  There is a sign for the bus since it is a popular bus and people always line up for it.  As I waited the line grew to about eight.

An ajumma (older Korean woman) came to the stop and took a look at the line and came to stand right beside me.  I have a really hard time with people cutting in line.  It just makes me fume so I stood there fuming waiting for the bus.  The bus approached and as luck would have it, the bus driver stopped right in front of me.  As I started to enter the bus, the ajumma tried to shove me out of the way but she didn't realize that I was also an ajumma and i wasn't going to let her.  I was able to shove her back and entered the bus.

The bus was really empty which surprised me for being 9 in the morning and I took a seat in the second row next to the window.  Guess who sat next to me?  Would you believe it was the ajumma?  I was shocked since there were many open seats including a seat in the same row on the opposite side.  Then she put both feet into the aisle and also leaned her head and body into the aisle.  This made it difficult for people to enter the bus since they had to step over her feet and maneuver around her body.  This went on at each stop until we arrived in Sadang.

I was shocked, angry and disgusted.  Ever time someone got onto the bus and encounter her they first looked at her and then looked at me.  It was embarassing.  I don't know what possessed her to act this way but she sure hightailed it off the bus as soon as she could.  Reflecting back on it, I should have just let her cut in front of the line but it seems to be hard for me to do that.  I always hope that she will remember what happened and not do this to someone else.  Rocketman says that I'm dreaming and that ajummas will never change.
Enough abou that, let's talk fabric.  I met KJ at Dongdaemun and we walked towards Gwangjung Market.  Right on the way is my maedeup shop and she really wanted to visit it so we stopped it.  The owners were soooo glad to see me and I wished I had made a list of things I wanted to get but I know I will visit again.  KJ was surprised and how happy they were to see me.  We truly are like old friends.  She loved the place and was surprised that I had known about it and she didn't.

Then it was off to the satin lady.  She was on the second floor of Gwangjung Market, Booth 1103.  She had beautiful satin which was very high quality.  The prices were 13,000-14,000 WON ($11-12 USD) per meter.  She even gave me something to drink as we oooed and ahhhed over the fabric.  We both bought quite a bit.

Next it was Ramie Guy.  I felt bad for him.  KJ had him climbing the walls to retrieve rolls of ramie.  I thought the white all looked the same but KJ definitely could tell the difference.  I bought a roll of white and a roll of off white and then a meter of a bunch of colors.  He charged 5000 ($4.70 USD) a meter. He even gave me a special price on one of the rolls because he said the fabric was uneven.  I honestly couldn't tell.  KJ did tell him that I felt sorry for him and he thought that was hilarious.  His booth is on the first floor, cell phone #011-742-5638. He didn't have a booth number.
Nearby there is underground shopping.  It is huge and she took me to a place that sells satin in tons of colors as you can see.

Here is the outside of the shop.  We didn't end up buying anything this time.  The fabric in the front are remnants.
I suggested lunch since it was that time.  KJ said that there was a mandu guk restaurant in Insadong that was delicious so we grabbed a taxi to get there.  On the way, I saw this coffee shop.
The mandu was spectacular!  So flavorful and homemade.  I definitely need to bring Rocketman.  After lunch, we visited a few galleries in Insadong and then I made my way home. 
                                                        This is all the fabric I bought.
This is what I got free.  It's good to be a foreigner!!!  I had a great time but came home so tired. I definitely want to go back soon.


  1. I kind of want to run my hands all over the fabric.

    There are a couple of shops in L.A. that sell Korean fabric, but I don't live there any more and I don't remember where they are. :\

    Of course I have about 5 tons of yarn taking up my bedroom right now, I don't need even more projects to work on.

  2. I remembered you mentioning this market... I just ran across an article that said that Gwangjang market is the new name of Dongdaemun market. I had no idea. That's where I got my gyeryang hanbok made.


Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...