Famous Nantong scarves get Palace Museum spot
Attendees at the Han Meilin Chinese Zodiac Art Exhibition wear Nantong blue calico scarves themed on the 12 Chinese Zodiac animals, Jan 5. [Photo/ntjoy.com]
An impressive selection of Nantong blue calico scarves themed around the 12 Chinese Zodiac animals went on display at the Han Meilin Chinese Zodiac Art Exhibition inside the Palace Museum, in Beijing, on Jan 5.
Patterns on the scarves were designed by 82-year-old renowned artist Han Meilin and produced by Wu Yuanxin, a leading craftsperson skilled in the art of making the scarves, along with a team of assistants.
Wu Yuanxin, a craftsperson skilled in the art of Nantong blue calico processing, attends the Han Meilin Chinese Zodiac Art Exhibition at the Palace Museum in Beijing, Jan 5. [Photo/ntjoy.com]
The process of making Nantong blue calico is recognized as an important part of China’s national heritage by the government.
It is believed that people first started to dye cloth using the sap and pulp of several kinds of grass as early as 1,300 years ago. Many other techniques for the dyeing and processing of cloth later emerged.
Traditional Chinese blue calico can measure any length, but never any wider than 60 centimeters. This is because all the cloth is woven on a small loom operated by one person. Traditionally, the cloth was made into bedcovers, wrapping cloth and blankets.
Today, the traditional craft is still widely practiced in 22 provinces across China. The finest examples, where the patterns and craftsmanship are of exceptionally high standards, mostly come from the Yangtze River Delta region.