Hip Yee Hing
“Hip Yee Hing”, a traditional old shop, sells quilts made from natural cotton. A master would repeatedly thrash against the layered cotton and pave the cotton smoothly by hand, while the owner Miss Lam would hand-stitch the layers together with needle and thread. Pillows, quilts, bed mattresses, baby mattresses, etc. are all made from pure cotton, which is evenly spread, to be fluffy and bouncy. Cotton quilts are very durable and will not get out of shape with age; some people have used the same quilts for 20 or 30 years.
Hip Yee Hing was founded in 1972 by Miss Lam’s father, who had eight sons and daughters. Since Miss Lam is the only unmarried child, she naturally looks after the family business. Her father learned the trade as an apprentice in Shanghai. In the old days he would make traditional wedding costumes in Shek Kip Mei, and also sell canvas camp-beds.
She told us that, “Nowadays, people who appreciate pure cotton products are getting far fewer, but cotton really has superior qualities. Therefore, in recent years we have some younger clientele. I think good products do not get obsolete”. Miss Lam said that the market today offers a wide choice of quilts, with the major categories being cotton, polyester fibre, silk, duvet and wool. Traditional cotton quilts are unique in its being natural and can keep people comfortably warm. Miss Lam feels that this business spells intimacy and is close to her heart, and also, she wants to play a part in preserving a traditional craft.