Hong Kong Beading Production and Companies in the 1950s
New information in red
Dianne Scialla wrote in a comment, “I am doing a program on beading and I am trying to find out more about all the beautiful beaded handbags and sweaters that came out of Hong Kong in the 1950′s. Did the same families that you mentioned in your article [Carles Brasó Broggi – Shanghai Spinners: Pioneers of Hong Kong’s industrialization, 1947-1955] get into the beading market as well? The quality of the work is so amazing that I am wondering where their labour force came from, Chinese refugees, perhaps?”
Carles Brasó Broggi wrote this comment in reply to Dianne’s question. “My guess is that beaded handbags and sweaters were produced in smaller production units, not spinning and weaving mills, but weaving and knitting workshops and factories that developed also in the 1950s Hong Kong. The families that appear in the article, Shanghai Spinners: Pioneers of Hong Kong’s industrialization, 1947-1955 also owned smaller firms that specialized in this kind of production, such as Eternal Garments, Leighton Textiles or Hong Kong Spinners. I think you should look at these companies to find the beautiful beadings you are looking for, although the information on these firms is naturally scarcer.”
IDJ has found this list of HK companies involved in “Beaded Articles”in a 1957 HK Trade Directory. (M) indictates manufacturer:
The British Embroidery and Drawnwork Co (M)
Chen Te Hsing
Fonson & Co
The Hong Kong Basketware Manufactory (M)
The International Marketing Exchange Ltd
Herbert Kees Ltd
Sino-American Trade Advancement Co.
Sun Fung Co. Ltd
Tai Sang Leatherware Manufactory (M)
Wah Hing Co. Ltd
Hugh Farmer: Beads and beading outlets can be found today concentrated in a small area of Sham Shui Po – Yu Chau Street, Ki Lung Street and Pei Ho Street. I don’t know where the shop products are made. Or whether there are still HK companies incorporating beading into clothing or accesssories.
This advert for Terminal Boutique is from 1963 and comes courtesy of IDJ.
This article was first posted on 9th May 2015.
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