In Hoi An, you will hear from many tailors that they use high quality fabrics. Some tailors in Hoi An even claim “Our fabrics are imported from Italy, Japan or America etc.”

 

150usd for Italian 100% wool suit or 30usd for imported Egyptian Cotton anyone? Really?

 

If an offer is too good to be true, it most probably is. Sometimes, there is a fine line between getting a good deal and getting cheated.

There is also not many customers who are well informed with knowledge about fabrics. Many have limited access to information. Mainly unreliable sources or travelers (not professionals!) in forums or blogs.

 

Holland & Sherry Fabric Label
Credits: Holland & Sherry Fabric Label

This is why so many tailor shops in not just Hoi An but Asia get away with such lies.

So where do most tailors in Hoi An get their fabrics from?

Many tailors in Hoi An choose the easy option of lying to customers and then buying shirt and suit fabrics from nearby local vendors (see illustration on left).

 

This way, tailor shops do not need to spend on fabric inventory and save cost.

Hoi An Fabric Shop
Above: Typical Hoi An Fabric Shop

Wow! Cost Savings! Sounds Good?

 

Sadly, most local fabric vendors offer fabrics are generally poor in quality.

 

Many tailor shop owners actually do not have much knowledge about fabrics. Besides it is Vietnamese culture to think a cheap deal is a great deal. Many owners love to bargain a lot at fabric shops too.

 

Problem is demand for poor fabrics is high and demand for good values is low. All because of the mindset that cheap fabrics is better. Just because it’s cheaper.

 

So it makes sense that fabric shops sell poorer fabrics cause demand is high and profit margins are higher. Besides the tailor shop owners can’t tell the difference anyway!

So how do you buy good fabrics?

hy You May Soon See More Goods Labeled ‘Made in Vietnam’
Photo: luong thai linh/European Pressphoto Agency

Today, many reputable fabric mills from Japanese, Korean and Chinese are scrambling into Vietnam to meet the surge in demand for fabrics. The demand are mainly from these huge garment factories, many of which are designer labels.

 

Unfortunately quality yet affordable fabrics do not come to us just like that. These reputable fabric mills or traders usually only entertain big factories. Hence, typical tailors in Hoi An will not have access to these fabrics.

With about 20 years of wholesale and manufacturing experience, we have built great relationships with these reputable mills. We have also built expertise in sourcing, inventory and logistics planning to make this even possible.

Fabrc mill
Phone picture of Fabric mill

Unlike brands like Zegna or Holland & Sherry that own their own mills, many designer brands procure their fabrics from reputable mills. These fabric mills actually supply your same designer labels like Hugo Boss and Armani.

 

These mills or factories have high standards when it comes to processing fabrics, so you can be assured you receive quality products.

 

We work directly with the same mills as your designer labels. By working direct, we skip the middlemen so you can bring cost savings to customers.

 

Frankly, buying great fabrics at affordable prices requires effort. Lots of them.

 

This is how we are able to offer great fabrics at affordable prices!

Why not use imported fabrics?

Holland and Sherry Fabrics
Credits: Holland & Sherry Luxury fabrics

The leading brand for suits and shirts in the tailoring industry are Holland & Sherry and Thomas Mason respectively. Not many tailors in Hoi An know the existence of these labels.

Usually, most S.E.Asian fabric distributors for imported fabrics are from Singapore and Hong Kong because low taxes. So during one of our traveling tailor service trips in Singapore, we contacted the sole distributors of these brands.

 

After some tough consideration, we did not purchase these branded or designer fabrics for three simple reasons:

1. HIGH IMPORT TAXES

For these fabric brands, they charge fixed price worldwide. But in Vietnam, these similar fabrics will cost at least 13% more due to import taxes & VAT. Vietnam has to do this to protect its dominance in the clothing and fabric export industry.

 

This means it cost less to buy these same fabrics back in your country!

2. GREAT EXISTING SUPPLIERS

We know our suppliers are providing us and our customers great value. They own their own mills to produce great quality fabrics. High quality enough to pass the strict criteria of some of your favorite designer labels.

 

We believe this is the only way to purchase great quality but affordable fabrics in Vietnam. Very few tailors in Hoi An use the same suppliers we do. So we are 100% sure our prices are very competitive for the fabrics and workmanship we offer.

3. NOT WORTH PAYING THE EXTRA

If you ask me, are the fabrics from these famous brands better than my fabrics? I would say yes but only marginally better. However, the price difference is huge! Truth is we will be paying more for the branding rather than the quality difference itself.

 

To me, workmanship makes a much bigger difference. I know of many tailors in Thailand or Hong Kong that offer fused suits with genuine imported fabrics. To me, this is like buying a Ferrari (at Ferrari price) with a Toyota engine!

 

Ultimately with proper after care, our shirts and suits can also make you look great and last for many years. That is the Vanda Tailors promise.

 

So the next time, if any tailor shop in Hoi An promises you imported fabrics from Japan or Italy at great prices, walk away!


You’ve invested in a stylish leather bag, which you admire and love! As with anything else, time and general elements will want to make their mark and your beloved bag will start the aging process. Certain leather product types just get better with age, but all kinds will give you added years with just a basic level of care.

There are different kinds of leather and different kinds of finish requiring different kinds of specialist care. If the manufacturer of your bag has given instructions then observe and take heed! A few general everyday caring tactics will help to ensure that your cool leather bag remains in top condition.

A good leather conditioner applied every couple of months will go a long way to help on day to day maintenance. Like anything else the best form of attack is defence. Try as much as possible to keep your leather handbag away from direct sunlight, rain, dusty and dirty environments. For when this just can’t be done, follow these simple hacks.

1. If Your Leather Bag Gets Wet

If you get caught in the rain and your bag gets very wet, dry it carefully in a warm dry area, near to (but not on) a radiator. Direct heat contacting the leather bag can cause it to dry excessively, crack, and go stiff. If it is excessively wet, then it is best to empty it and stuff it with something that will help to maintain the shape.

2. Waterproofing a Leather Bag

As much as possible, try to keep your leather bag dry. This is not always possible though, so add a treatment of water barrier cream or oil, which can be purchased from supermarkets or leather specialist outlets. Make sure that the said oil is appropriate for the kind of leather that you are treating.

3. For a Natural Vintage Leather Bag that Dried Out Over Time

If your vintage leather bag dries out after time just with the natural elements, it may start to feel rough. It can also be a result of being artificially dried too many times. To keep your leather bag in its best condition, it is important to exchange the herbal oils which will have been washed away. A natural colored vintage leather bag may just need a drop of vegetable or rapeseed oil depending on manufacturer’s guidelines.

Other colored and polished bags will require specific leather lotion for the job. Check here and don’t make short cuts, it could permanently stain the leather. Whenever using any kind of cream or oil, try it out of sight first, just to be on the safe side.

4. For the Natural Leather Aroma

With new leather bags sometimes comes that special aroma.  It’s part of the rich experience associated with buying real leather. When the production process uses natural oils rather than chemicals the aroma can be a little overwhelming for some. If the novelty should wear off before the scent does then here are a few ideas:

  • A simple freshener such as Febreze. A quick short spray inside the bag, being careful not to soak it. Try a little at first and if after 24hrs you need more, then do it a little at a time.
  • Use baking powder. Leave an open pack of baking powder inside the bag, which will absorb a large amount of the smell. Depending on the kind of bag that you have, a light dusting inside could also go a long way.
  • Leave the bag in an open airy environment. If it’s closed then it will just keep absorbing its own smell. If you can leave it outside in fresh air, then this will help very much.
  • Odor eaters for shoes. If it can kick the smell of feet then it can certainly help the leather aroma.

5. Treating Scratches in Leather

These can be authenticating marks in natural goat leather. Typically they are light scratches on the surface, and are hallmarks that make your bag unique. This adds to the delightful appeal of distressed and vintage leather. However, if you prefer, these can sometimes be reduced just by rubbing it with your finger. Alternatively, a drop of vegetable oil, sunflower oil, baby oil or rapeseed on cotton wool rubbed over the scratch can reduce its appearance (if you really want to!)

On polished or treated leather, a scratch can look very much out of place. Products like boot polish, Vaseline, or saddle soap may treat this. When applying any kind of liquid treatment always work in the direction of the grain, otherwise you could leave it badly marked. Any kind of application can alter the appearance of leather so give it a try in an out of sight area first.

Face cream and balm can also help to remove a scratch. Usually it’s just a case of blending the scratch in with the rest of the leather. Check coloring when using any kind of cream, by trying it out in a hidden area.

6. General Tips

  • Dye from dark clothing can rub off on light colored leather and be very difficult to remove. Careful with the colors!
  • If you have just applied hand cream then let it dry before picking up your leather handbag, otherwise the grease can stain it.
  • Keep you handbag stuffed if you are not going to use it for a while.
  • Try to keep your leather bag free of dust, if it came with a protective cotton bag then use it!  If not, you could try a pillow case.