Spinning and Weaving Workshop

Spinning and weaving are not only the business of women, nor are of single families. Spinning and weaving reflect the progress of human civilization and society, and related to our history and culture.

 The impact of the process from spinning to weaving should never be ignored. It is a greatest invention of our ancestors and our women, by which women establish their division of labor and position in a society. Men plough and women weave. From the culture of "women weave", we can well see politics, economy, education, morality, as much as the joys and sorrows of the common folks and the living conditions and value concepts of a society.

By spinning and weaving we are blessed of clothes. Clothes, food, shelter, travel, among these four necessities of life, clothes take the lead. Clothes bring about the distinction of social classes, the concept of wealth, and the merge of spiritual life.

As a carrier of the distribution and inheriting of a culture, spinning and weaving for the nations which have no written language, are the sagas of historical development of their nations. In delicate weaving, the symbols, coordinates, patterns and colors that represent certain cultural identities such as regions, status and conventions are created and established. When you try to distinguish the textiles of varying patterns and forms of Zhuang, Miao and Uygur, the cultural images and styles of different national characteristics conspicuously accrue. These are the special apparel language of each nation. Needless of verbal or written explanations, a piece of material or textile may fully tell. Every nation is able to recognize and understand such "language of spinning and weaving" that cross time and space. The cultural conditions reflected by the spinning wheels and looms have in fact composed the living conditions in each period of human history, and have become notes to the graphics of the human society, recording the development of the human kind.

These seemingly trivial warps and wefts cross and cross, repeat and develop. Under the hands and through the understanding of women of different nationalities, pieces of silks and satins, riot of colors and characteristic patterns, have been coming out to decorate our past, present, and future.

The Zhuang brocade looms, Han guaze looms, Miao clothing looms, Dong band looms, Tibetan wool looms, Wa waist wheels, Uygurian carpet looms, spinning wheels, spindles, cutting knives, shuttles, thread boards, Dai brocade, Dong brocade, Sichuan brocade, Tujia brocade, Yao cloth, Song twill-weave silk, Guangdong satin, Hangzhou silk... these colorful textile relics reveals the culture of spinning and weaving, and the cultural features of the nationalities and the history of Chinese civilization.

Collected from: Yunnan, Guizhou, Sichuan, Hunan, Guangxi, Shanxi, Inner Mongolia, Tibet, Northeastern Regions.

Time span: Qing Dynasty to the Modern Times, about 400 years.

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