Archives for posts with tag: cloth

shoesEuropean Size 41

The name “Thousand Layer Sole” came from the fact that the sole is made with numerous layer of cloth held together with rice glue and hand stitching.  It is a common way of making traditional shoes in China, according to the archaeologists the technique has been around since the Zhou dynasty (700 BC).

Click to see how it is made, maybe you can try making it at home!

And here is how mom has learnt it as a child.

slippers

European Size 38, China

The first record of slipper in China were found in the Nan Song Dynasty 1200 AD, not invention but in a travel log for a visit to India, a pair of shoes with open heel must be a novelty to the ambassador. It is recorded in detail that there are 2 types; one type is probably the ancestor of flip flop (the paduka), it has a leather sole and a tiny bone in the middle,  one would wear it with the tiny bone in between the toes.  The second type has a red leather strap that run around the sole of the slipper (who anyone know what is this other type that the traveller has seen/).

DIA130xH70mm, China

Like the tiger shoes, this is a tiger headband for the baby’s hundred day celebration.  They normally comes as a form of a hat, this headband is a relatively rare item.

In the old days when natural disaster and disease cannot be explained, they are often taken as an evil spell.  Helplessly people projected their hope onto a powerful animal and the tiger being the king of all animals (as there are not native lion in China) it has been an object of worship.

W900xH1040mm, Hong Kong

This is a modern door god design by my father, this is a silk screen print on a cloth, the traditional door gods are wood block print to be posted on the doors to offer blessing and protection to the household.

One of the legend for the origin of the door god goes like this; according to the Qin geographical documentation “Shan Hai Jing”, in midst of the ocean there is a mountain, there stood a giant peach tree which spread over 3000 miles.  At the north east is the door to the dark world where the ghosts go in and out. Over this door stood 2 gods – Shen Shu and Yu Lv, their duty is to censor the good and the bad ghosts, the evil ghosts will be thrown down the mountain to feed tiger.  The character here is Yu Lv,  brother of the Shen Shu, the pair are the legendary ghost busters.

Big Fish – L200xH120mm, China

A modern bag for childern, a small red fish for pocket money and a big fish for all the other goodies.  The small fish is like to the big fish, so however hard its tries it will always be swallowed by the big fish …

W140xL180xH160mm, China

Everyone must have seen the dragon dance during Chinese New Year, ever wonder how the dragon head is constructed? Here is a miniature version of the bamboo structure that goes under the paper or cloth constructed skin (which belongs to a dragon kite). Bamboo stripes are bend and tied together at junction points with a paper knot. For the actual performance piece the structure will be will be stronger and bolder. The body is made with piece of red cloth with resembled the scale of the dragon, with rods every 1.8m apart for the dancers to control the body. The length between the head and the tail can go up to 4m. Another dancer will raise a sphere for the dragon to chase.

In a traditional dragon dance, in a ceremony the body of the dragon will be invited out from the Dragon King Temple, the head and the tail will be attached and only then will the eyes be drawn on the dragon. Dragon is a creature both respected and feared by the Chinese, being the leader of the 4 spiritual creatures, it is believed to be able to control the sea and the weather, make it calm and peaceful or cause the wave to become furious. After the performances of the dragon dance, the head and the tail will be dismantled and burnt, only the body will returned to the temple to be kept for next year’s dragon dance.

L80xH80xW60mm, China

Cloth tiger is a common toy for children in China.  Though we have all kinds of monstrous toys on the market nowadays, it would seems strange for a folk toy to be based on a vicious animal like the tiger.  In the days when life in less protected against nature and disease, the Chinese look on the tiger as a symbol of strength, bravery and good health.  The cloth tiger becomes a symbol of protection and a blessing for the young.  On the 5th of the lunar month of may, the day when ritual would be performed for plague prevention, faces of the children will be painted yellow with tiger pattern for extra protection.  Cloth tiger would be given to a child 3 days after its birth, on its 100 days birthday, 1st and 2nd birthdays and on Chinese New Year as a blessing to the child.