The upcoming holiday season has reminded me of my love of ribbons. Ribbons have always been a weakness of mine. I have a habit of saving every pretty ribbon that comes my way, and I can never resist a pretty ribbon on sale. There are quite a few places to shop for ribbon in Taipei; you can buy them in bookstores, such as Eslite (the Xinyi and Songyan branches both have nicely curated selections) and of course you can buy them at VVG Chiffon. However, ultimately, the place where you will be most spoiled for selection is in the Yong-Le Market area.
For this post, I’m going to introduce three of my favorite shops, where I buy most of my ribbon. They are all located within minutes of the Yong-Le Market building. (It’s hard for me to give directions, but I’ll include either the shop sign, or the business card, which you can use as a point of reference) I’ll also include a “best finds” explanation for each store, so it’s easier to narrow down your shopping choices. (in case want a more focused shopping experience)
Just a quite FYI before I begin: Most of these stores only accept cash, so make sure you have plenty on hand before you arrive. Based on personal experience, I try to have a handful of small bills and change, which makes the buying process a whole lot smoother.
The first shop is “介良“ This is located right across the front of the Yong-Le building. It looks like a tiny storefront, but it’s actually a cavernous building, filled to the brim with every kind of trimming.
It’s pretty organized for such an enormous amount of stock. Everything is on shelves, and arranged by type.
They also have an ingenious way of organizing pre-cut grosgrain ribbon using binder rings. That way, you can see color and width at first glance, and they ribbons are easy to remove from the rack too.
There are other ribbons that you can buy at the length that you choose (but I think the minimum is at least 1 meter) In this section, you write down the ribbon number, and bring it to the shop assistant (usually sitting at the desk in the hallway connecting the front of the store and the back of the store) and they will find it for you.
For the other ribbon that are not labeled in boxes, you take down the roll and bring it to be cut to your desired length. (Be careful! Some of those spools of ribbon are wedged in so tightly that when you pull one out, another three fly out to accompany it)
Sometimes with so much to choose from, I can get overwhelmed, but I’m always happy to discover delightful items such as this heart trimmed organza ribbon, which would look perfect on a wedding present!
They have a wall of shelves dedicated to lace. Most of the lace here is cotton lace, with some crocheted lace, and a small selection of more delicate pieces.
Best finds: The most extensive stock of grosgrain ribbons in all sorts of widths, sizes and colors, all at reasonable prices. A good selection of cotton laces, and velvet and glittery ribbons. I also saw a full selection of embroidery thread here too. There is also a wide selection of leather laces, buttons and various handles (for handbags)
For a break to rest your eyes, I would suggest visiting Miss Beads which is just a few doors down. It’s a light, bright and airy store, with a careful selection of ribbons and lace.
The shop is well lit and the selection is orderly. I found gorgeous imported ribbon from Japan here (as you can see from the photos above)
Sometimes the owner only orders one roll of the ribbon, so buy as much as you need for one project in one trip, because once it’s gone, it’s gone!
The owner also really has a knack for packaging. Most of the other stores just rolled up the ribbon and put them in a plastic bag, without much ceremony. The owner at Miss Beads pretty much has the same process, but the results are quite different. Instead, the ribbons you carefully selected, are just as carefully folded and delicately placed into a clear plastic bag. (to this day, I still haven’t undone the wrapping!)
Best finds: There is a beautiful selection of handmade laces and lace pieces. The owner is friendly and informative and very patient. She rolled out pieces of lace for us, so we could find the perfect section, and helped me match ribbons to the scarf that I wanted to trim.
Tai-fu Costume and Material Shop Lastly, we visited “台富” , which I warn you, is not for the faint of heart. In fact, it might do you good to go have a cup of coffee or eat lunch before you hit this store. It can be absolutely mesmerizing, or terrifying, depending on your state of mind. I’ll let the photos speak for themselves.
However, despite the riot of ribbons, this is where you will find an extensive collection of lace. Beaded lace, handmade lace, whatever your imagination fancies, you will probably find here, if you have the patience to look for it. (for this trip, I just had a fabulous time looking through all the lace, because I didn’t have a specific project in mind. But if I did have a project in mind, then this is definitely one of my top stores to visit!)
If you can’t quite bear the ribbon riot, they also have another branch right across the street; and it’s much more of a conventional retail setting, with neat racks of ribbons and a nook in the back with different bow ties and costume trimmings. This is where I bought two pretty ribbons with delicate edging (it’s kind of difficult to tell from the photo, but it’s really beautiful!)
Best finds: The most bountiful ribbon selection you will ever see under one roof. But, you have to have patience to sift through the inventory. Or if you have something very specific in mind, the shop assistants can point you in the general direction. Their retail location located right across the street is much more organized, but with significantly less selection.
I’ll be incorporating these finds into future projects for the upcoming holiday season, and I’ll share them with you as soon as I can. (Here is a quick sneak peak!)