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Tie-dye rats welcome Chinese New Year

chinadaily.com.cn Updated: 2020-01-14


Rat mascots made of tie-dye cotton [Photo/ntfabu.com]

Four teachers in the Department of Art and Design at Nantong Vocational University have designed a set of rat mascots to ring in the upcoming Chinese Lunar New Year and the Year of the Rat.

The mascots include six rat dolls made of tie-dye cotton. According to Li Juan, one of the designers, a variety of tie-dye techniques were used to produce some distinct patterns.

Tie-dye is a traditional Chinese art form dating back to the East Jin Dynasty (405-418). It was most popular during the Tang (618-907) and Song dynasties (960-1279) and is currently on the verge of disappearing.

Nantong recovered the ancient art form in the early 1970s and has developed its own style over the past few decades.

The Nantong tie-dye technique was listed as a provincial-level intangible cultural heritage item in 2011.

Li said her team plans to integrate the ancient art form into the modern fashion industry. They will also encourage more young people to learn and preserve the technique.