Fabric trip to Korea 17th of April - 25th of April 2020
That’s Hello and Welcome in Korean. I can’t speak Korean – luckily, I know people who do, I also know that Korea has a lot to offer!
Join me and members of Melbourne Couture Group on a nine day fabric and craft tour to Korea. Together we’ll explore some of Seoul’s many fabric and craft markets, attend sewing, jewellery and craft workshops, visit some of the best museums and galleries and enjoy superb Korean food. This fascinating country has so much to offer – you won’t want to go home!
Day 1 – Introduction to Seoul & a little bit of Korean history
Home to over 10 million people (1/5 of Korea’s total population) Seoul has a pulsing big city vibe but it has also revitalised its natural spaces in recent years. Walk along the beautiful Cheonggyecheon, this public recreation space offers something for everyone. Twenty years ago the Han River was dirty, rubbish-strewn, almost dry and invisible beneath a highway and city congestion. A massive urban renewal project finishing in 2005 has breathed life and green spaces into the middle of the city and it is a joy to walk along the restored river watching fishermen, children playing and families gathering.
The Gyeongbokgung Royal Palace is close by too – catch the hourly changing of the guard for your Instagram moment. A short walk will take us to Bukchon Hanok Village, where you can explore the tiny alleys and admire the hanoks – traditional Korean houses saved from demolition and now converted into trendy tea houses and guest houses. Many hanoks though are still occupied by families and you might catch glimpses of family life – chilli peppers drying on walls, kimchi being prepared and grandparents soaking up the sun.
While visiting the village and Gyeongbokgung Royal Palace, you will learn how to dress in a traditional hanbok. So pose like a Korean princess during your photo-shoot with our personal photographer.
Day 2 – Changdeokgung palace and fabric, fabric fabric!
First we will visit a modern hanbok studio. The chief designer will explain the processes involved in making these intricate and delicate garments and guide us through their working studio.
Next we will take a guided tour of Changdeokgung palace and the Secret Garden. While the Gyeongbukgong Palace is considered the main palace, this beautiful complex was the primary residence for the royal family for 300 years (such choices!).
Then - pack your comfortable shoes for this – we start exploring the fabric shopping at the Dongdaemun market (this is the largest fabric market with over 30,000 shops and 50,000 manufacturers!) The market is open till 11pm and then the night market opens in case you have any energy left…..
We will take a stroll through the jaw-dropping neo-futuristic Dongdaemun Design Plaza as a palate cleanser to our fabric exploration. Built in 2016 by renowned architect Zaha Hadid, it has quickly become the most iconic landmark of the Korean design industry.
Day 3 – Shopping!
Fabric shopping at the Namdaemun market (yes, more fabric shops here). Craft shopping and high-quality traditional souvenir shopping in the picturesque Insadong area. Make sure you bring an extra suitcase or buy one from the Namdaemun market today.
If our energy levels are still high, we can return to the Dongdaemun market* (*if open)
Day 4 – Pojagi Exploration!
We visit a Pojagi workshop and learn about this ancient art form of quilting. Pojagi patchwork is elegant, intriguing and instantly recognisable due to its unique seams. We will explore the many beautiful examples in the Pojagi Museum
Afternoon is your choice: fabric shopping or free time 😊
Dinner tonight will be at one of the restaurants in the Noryangjin Fish Market. This is considered one of the top places to visit in Seoul – an aquarium where you can eat the exhibits!
Day 5 – Flowers and Evening Gangam-style
Another amazing market to visit – the Flower Market where we will be guided by our flower teacher. We will learn how to make a flower box here (artificial flowers for our flower box so they can be taken back home). We will visit both the fresh and artificial flower sections and this will be a fantastic opportunity to stock up on silk flowers components and tools.
Late afternoon - return to the Dongdaemun market for more fabric shopping
An Moonlight Walk with a local guide in Gangnam will be a fitting finale to our day.
Day 6 – Korean embroidery
Today we will be doing traditional Korean embroidery workshop and visiting an embroidery museum.
Afternoon will be free for your choice – craft shopping, fabric shopping or a tiny rest?
Day 7 – Costume Jewellery
Start your "Jewellery Day" with a visit to the awesome World Jewellery Museum to spark your creativity for the necklace-making workshop at the Jewellery Design Academy. We will then join our teacher on a guided market visit for more costume jewellery components. Option of free time.
Day 8 – Fabric and Button Shopping
A day to indulge in fabrics and buttons, buttons, buttons! Stroll through Gwangjang market, enjoy time in The Button Alley and drop in again to Dongdaemun market. Take your time, Dongdaemun market is open until 11pm and the night market till 5AM!
Day 8 – Last minute shopping and flying out
Last chance to fill up your second suitcase – buy more souvenirs, visit Dongdaemun or Gwangjang market. Then eat your last bowl of Bipimbap, take more photos and say good bye to Seoul (don’t forget to drop a coin into the river to ensure you come back).