Chinese fashion struts to the West

Hermès, Louis Vuitton, Prada, Chanel, even people who are not interested in buying luxury products can name a few brands and recognize their logos in China now. Chinese consumers have become so powerful and obsessed with luxury items that many of the brands view the Chinese market as a cash cow. However, luxury fashion lovers elsewhere in the world may not be familiar with any Chinese brands.

Though not widely recognized, some domestic luxury brands are seeing healthy growth and showing potential to become well-known luxury lines.

Hong Huang, creator of Brand New China (a business dedicated to promoting local designers), wrote in her blog earlier this week that in the past decades, Chinese aesthetics and values used to be at the edge of mainstream fashion. But as brands like Exception de Mixmind, Ziggy Chen, Chictopia and ZUCZUG have emerged, Chinese fashion has begun to make some noise.

Brands with potential

For most Chinese consumers just learning the “luxury” concept, the items they want and have become familiar with are fashion products. Clothes, shoes, bags, watches and jewelry are on most wish lists.

But designing and producing these items are not China’s strong suit. Due to differences in culture and custom, a typical list of luxury items in China is vastly different: liquor, tobacco, porcelain, furniture and tea. As a result, many firms that intend to create luxury fashion items fail to compete with brands from France and Italy and resort to copying their ideas.

 
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“I am not producing a Chinese Cartier but a jewelry brand that belongs to China and speaks an international language,” Wang Yunhe, president of Zhaoyi Jewelry, said on sina.com. Emerald with traditional Chinese handicrafts sounds a bit old-fashioned. But putting it into a modernized design and package can turn the “antique” into a fashionable luxury item with Chinese style. More importantly, it imbues the product with the Chinese culture of the emerald.

 
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Qeelin, also a jewelry brand, provides China with another possibility of selling luxury items to the world. Its approach is to open a store in Paris targeting the foreign market firstly and directly. After seeing so many top luxury brands’ stores in Paris, Chen Ruilin, the founder and designer of Qeelin, decided to become neighbors with them. Chen’s shop is decorated with a bit of Buddhist style and each item purchased is boxed in the shop’s signature look.

Shanghai Tang Store
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Franz Store
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These brands along with Shanghai Tang, born in Hong Kong and now has dozens of stores around the world; and Franz Collection, originally from Taiwan and now selling fine porcelain in 56 countries, are all examples of companies profiting from China’s well-established reputation for certain specialties.

However, as relative newcomers in the global luxury industry, Chinese brands are unable to speak of long-held traditions or legendary stories. Still there are ways to add a soul to the name.

Not built in a day

Wang Yuexin, editor-in-chief of Fashion Weekly told the Global Times that although there are a few relatively successful high-end Chinese brands in fashion, they are not on a scale to be qualified as “luxury brand,” especially in women’s and men’s wear. While Chinese names are appearing more often in international magazines as designers, and dresses worn by Chinese actresses are catching attention on the red carpets of the world, the fame and reputation of a person or a dress cannot represent an entire brand.

NE-Tiger
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Guo Pei’s Works
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Zhang Zhifeng’s NE-Tiger and Rose Studio by Guo Pei are the most famous Chinese fashion brands in the world; both started with haute couture but now also produce ready-to-wear items. Cathy Horyn from The New York Times has reported on Guo and highly praised her designs. However, the two brands are largely based on the designers’ personal reputations and have not become chain businesses like the best luxury brands in the global market.

Wang explained that many entrepreneurs and enterprises are aiming high but few have the resources and courage to achieve their goal. They understand building up a solid and reputable brand is not a one-day task. “The top luxury brands all started with a designer and developed for a century to turn a fashion studio into a real global business. Only time can solve many of the problems we have at the moment,” said Wang.

Cai Sujian, the president of China Luxury Institute, a Hong Kong registered association, said the difference between top Chinese fashion brands and the world-class luxury brands mainly exists in the brand content, taking into account its originality, popularity, quality of services and cultural meaning.

“It is why NE-Tiger and Rose Studio products keep pace with the world standard in terms of craft and quality, but the brand as a whole still keeps a distance,” said Cai.

Culture is key

In an article by Michel Gutsatz published in Forbes last year, Qeelin was described as a brand that successfully combines traditional Chinese culture with French techniques. He emphasized that this is an advantage of the brand management but does not necessary lead to a real luxury brand. And it’s the same for the rest of the Chinese high-end fashion brands.

“The soul of a brand and fashion industry is its culture. Without culture, great investments and extremely high prices do not define the brand as luxury,” said Wang.

Cai pointed out that a key issue here is that China does not have a clear modern culture. Modernism or postmodernism, contemporary culture in China is hugely influenced by the West so developing an original culture is at the issue’s core.

For Wang, the culture we are talking about does not necessarily refer to any symbolic figure: “China today is within the globalized context. As long as the products are designed and made in China, they represent China, with or without looking Chinese.”

by Xiao Xiao xiaoxiao@interactchina.com

About Interact China

—————————————————————————————————————————–
“A Social Enterprise in E-commerce Promoting Oriental Aesthetic Worldwide”

Aileen & Norman co-founded Interact China in 2004 with specialization in fine Oriental Aesthetic products handmade by ethnic minorities & Han Chinese. Having direct partnerships with artisans, designers, craft masters and tailors, along with 10 years solid experience in e-commerce via InteractChina.com, we position well to bridge talented artisans in the East with the rest of the world, and bring you direct finely selected products that are of good quality and aesthetic taste.

So far we carry 2000+ goods covering Ladies Fashion, Tailor Shop, Home Furnishings, Babies & Kids, Painting Arts, Textile Arts, Carving Arts, Tribal Jewelry Art, Wall Masks and Musical Instruments. Our team speak English, French, German, Spanish and Italian, and serve customers worldwide with passion and hearts.
—————————————————————————————————————————–

P.S. We Need People with Similar Passion to Join Our Blogging Team!
If you have passion to write about Oriental Aesthetic in Fashion, Home Decor, Art & Crafts, Culture, Music, Books, and Charity, please contact us at bloggers@interactchina.com, we would love to hear from you!

Fashion Timeline of Chinese Women Clothing(2)

Yuan Dynasty (1279-1368AD)

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Han women continued to wear the jacket and skirt. However, the choice of darker shades and buttoning on the left showed Mongolian influence.

“After the Mongols settled down in the Central Plains, Mongolian customs and costumes lso had their influence on those of the Han people. While remaining the main costume for Han women, the jacket and skirt had deviated greatly in style from those of the Tang and Song periods. Tight-fitting garments gave way to big, loose ones; and collar, sleeves and skirt became straight. In addition, lighter more serene colours gained preference.

Ming Dynasty (1368-1644AD)

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The clothing for women in the Ming Dynasty consisted mainly of gowns, coats, rosy capes, over-dresses with or without sleeves, and skirts. These styles were imitations of ones first seen in the Tang and Song Dynasties. However, the openings were on the right-hand side, according to the Han Dynasty convention.

The formal dress for commoners could only be made of coarse purple cloth, and no gold embroidery was allowed. Gowns could only in such light colors as purple, green and pink; and in no case should crimson, reddish blue or yellow be used. These regulations were observed for over a decade, and it was not until the 14th year of Hong Wu that minor changes were made.

Qing Dynasty (1644 -1911AD)

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When China fell under Manchurian rule, Chinese men were forced to adopt Manchurian customs. As a sign of submission, the new government made a decree that men must shave their head and wear the Manchurian queue or lose their heads. Many choose the latter.

On the other hand, Chinese women were not pressured to adopt Manchurian clothing and fashions. “Women, in general, wore skirts as their lower garments, and red skirts were for women of position. At first, there were still the “phoenix-tail” skirt and the “moonlight” skirt and others from the Ming tradition. However the styles evolved with the passage of time: some skirts were adorned with ribbons that floated in the air when one walked; some had little bells fastened under them: others had their lower edge embroidered with wavy designs. As the dynasty drew to an end, the wearing of trousers became the fashion among commoner women. There were trousers with full crotches and over trousers, both made of silk embroidered with patters.

The Manchurians attempted several times to eradicate the practice of foot-binding, but were largely unsuccessful. Manchurian women admired the gait of bound women but were effectively banned from practicing food-binding. Hence, a “flower pot shoe” later came into creation and it allowed its wearer the same unsteady gait but without any need for foot-binding.

Republic Era (1912-1949AD)

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Ever since the Tang Dynasty, the design of Chinese women’s costumes had kept to the same straight style: flat and straight lines for the chest, shoulders and hips, with few curves visible; and it was not until the 1920’s that Chinese women came to appreciate ‘the beauty of curves’, and to pay attention to figure when cutting and making up dresses, instead of adhering to the traditional style.

The most popular item of a Chinese woman’s wardrobe in modern times was the qi pao. Originall the dress of the Manchus, it was adopted by Han women in the 1920s. Modifications and improvements were then made so that for a time, it became the most fashionable form of dress for women in China.

Two main factors account for women’s general preference for the qi pao: first, it was economical and convenient to wear.

Women traditionally bound their breasts in the Ming and Qing dynasties with tight fitting vests and continued to do so in the early 20th century.

The vests were called xiaomajia ‘little vest’ or xiaoshan ‘little shirt” “used by Chinese women as underclothing for the upper part of the body. “Doudu [is] a sort of apron for the upper body. In former times the doudu had been worn by everyone, old and young, male and female. The young wore red, the middle-aged wore white or grey-green, the elderly wore black. A little pocket sewn into the top was used by adults to secrete them money and by children their sweets. When a girl got engaged, she would show off her embroidery skills by sending an elaborately worked doudu to her fiancé, decorated with bats for good forturne and pomegranates, symbolizing many sons.

A ban on bound breasts began in 1927, in which the government started advocating for the “Natural Breast Movement”. Despite this, bound breasts still widely continued into the 1930s. The government also banned earrings as it fell under the criteria of deforming the natural body. The 1930s also saw the introduction of the western/French bra come to Shanghai.

The little vest was designed to constrain the breasts and streamline the body. Such a garment was necessary to look comme il faut around 1908, when (as J. Dyer Ball observed): ‘fashion decreed that jackets should fit tight, though not yielding to the contours of the figure, except in the slightest degree, as such an exposure of the body would be considered immodest.’ It became necessary again in the mid-twenties, when the jacket-blouse—a garment cut on rounded lines – began to give way to the qipao. At this stage, darts were not used to tailor the bodice or upper part of the qipao, nor would they be till the mid-fifties. The most that could be done by way of further fitting the qipao to the bosom was to stretch the material at the right places through ironing. Under these circumstances, breast-binding must have made the tailor’s task easier.

Successful eradication of bound feet would not come until the 1949 when the People’s Republic of China came into power.

Republic Era and 21st century

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1950s-1960’s

Under the People’s Republic of China, very few mainland women wore the cheongsam, save for ceremonial attire. Clothing became de-sexualized for mainlanders.

It was the flip side in Hong Kong, as the cheongsam continued its function as everyday wear which lasted until the late 1960s. The cheongsam in the 1950s and 1960s became even tighter fitting to further accentuate feminine curves. Western clothing became the default after the late 1960s, though the cheongsam continued to survive as uniforms for students (who donned a looser and androgynous version), waitresses, brides, and beauty contestants.

21st century

Designers today are creating new forms of the qipao/cheongsam. The fish tail appears to be a current popular trend.

by Xiao Xiao xiaoxiao@interactchina.com    

About Interact China

—————————————————————————————————————————–
“A Social Enterprise in E-commerce Promoting Oriental Aesthetic Worldwide”

Aileen & Norman co-founded Interact China in 2004 with specialization in fine Oriental Aesthetic products handmade by ethnic minorities & Han Chinese. Having direct partnerships with artisans, designers, craft masters and tailors, along with 10 years solid experience in e-commerce via InteractChina.com, we position well to bridge talented artisans in the East with the rest of the world, and bring you direct finely selected products that are of good quality and aesthetic taste.

So far we carry 2000+ goods covering Ladies Fashion, Tailor Shop, Home Furnishings, Babies & Kids, Painting Arts, Textile Arts, Carving Arts, Tribal Jewelry Art, Wall Masks and Musical Instruments. Our team speak English, French, German, Spanish and Italian, and serve customers worldwide with passion and hearts.
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P.S. We Need People with Similar Passion to Join Our Blogging Team!
If you have passion to write about Oriental Aesthetic in Fashion, Home Decor, Art & Crafts, Culture, Music, Books, and Charity, please contact us at bloggers@interactchina.com, we would love to hear from you!

Ways to Use Table Runners

Table runners are a terrific way to “dress up” a kitchen or dining room table. They come in a variety of sizes designed for different length tables, and also have many patterns from which to choose. Table runners are perfect for adding extra color and texture to table settings and other types of furniture. Table runners can be used in many different ways and on different types of furniture.

 home decor

Table Types

Table runners are traditionally used on dining tables. However, you can get creative with table runners and use them on all kinds of tables including:

• Patio tables

• Coffee tables

• End tables

• Nightstands

• Sofa tables

• Hall tables

 home decor

They can work on any shape of table, including:

• Round tables

• Oval tables

• Rectangular tables

• Square tables

 home decor

Placed Lengthwise

The most common way to use a table runner is to place the runner in the middle of the table, running lengthwise. This provides a perfect guide or path to keep multiple centerpieces or serving dishes in line. The runner can also be used to protect the table’s surface from candle wax drippings, moisture, heat, food drippings and other debris caused by centerpieces, serveware or décor.

 home decor

Placed Across the Table

You can also use slightly narrower and shorter table runners placed across the table in front of each chair. These runners can serve as placemats and can be used in addition to a lengthwise runner or without one. Runners placed across extra long tables can be used to separate each place setting.

Table runners used to separate each setting
 home decor

Runners Used on Other Furniture

Shorter table runners can be draped over a nightstand or end table for a splash of color and texture. You can also use table runners to accent other types of furniture such as a buffet, hutch, credenza, dresser or vanity table.

 home decor

Use a table runner to protect furniture made with glass. Use one on a glass display case, console or coffee table when you want to display knick-knacks that might scratch the surface.

by Xiao Xiao xiaoxiao@interactchina.com    

About Interact China

—————————————————————————————————————————–

“A Social Enterprise in E-commerce Promoting Oriental Aesthetic Worldwide”

Aileen & Norman co-founded Interact China in 2004 with specialization in fine Oriental Aesthetic products handmade by ethnic minorities & Han Chinese. Having direct partnerships with artisans, designers, craft masters and tailors, along with 10 years solid experience in e-commerce via InteractChina.com, we position well to bridge talented artisans in the East with the rest of the world, and bring you direct finely selected products that are of good quality and aesthetic taste.

So far we carry 2000+ goods covering Ladies Fashion, Tailor Shop, Home Furnishings, Babies & Kids, Painting Arts, Textile Arts, Carving Arts, Tribal Jewelry Art, Wall Masks and Musical Instruments. Our team speak English, French, German, Spanish and Italian, and serve customers worldwide with passion and hearts.

—————————————————————————————————————————–

P.S. We Need People with Similar Passion to Join Our Blogging Team!

If you have passion to write about Oriental Aesthetic in Fashion, Home Decor, Art & Crafts, Culture, Music, Books, and Charity, please contact us at bloggers@interactchina.com, we would love to hear from you!

   

Chinese Designers Embrace Global Fashion Stage(2)

For Chinese fashion icon Mark Cheung, an outstanding Chinese designer must have a deep understanding of his own culture and land to be able to make beautiful designs.

 
 Chinese fashion

Cheung is regarded as representing of the first generation of Chinese designers and his annual fashion show is seen as the most important event in Chinese fashion circles. The 45-year-old wears many hats, including vice-chairman of the China Association of Fashion Design and chairman of the China Fashion Committee of Asia Fashion Union.

Whereas Zhang’s collections incorporate underlying ethnic tones, Cheung’s work has widely recognized landscapes and patterns of China as its crucial motifs.

Since 2000, the veteran designer has held fashion shows every year featuring Chinese landscapes and ethnic culture. For instance, The Soul of the Nations collection expresses the splendid and varied styles of 56 minorities; Royal Flavor radiates the glory and luxury of royal courts of the different dynasties of the past; Forbidden City reproduces the beauty and grandeur of the old buildings, and South China captures the striking scenery of ancient water towns and gardens.

 
 Chinese fashion

All of Cheung’s collections are known for their rich palette, which includes pure whites, darker tones of brown and jade, bright red and the shining yellow of the imperial Forbidden City. Cheung’s fascination with ancient building styles can be seen in the lavish use of symmetry, bias cutting, pleating, carving lace-trimming, fagoting, sequining and beading. These techniques, combined with pure innovation, have enabled Cheung to fuse traditional culture with cutting-edge fashion.

Unlike Mark Cheung and Zhang Zhifeng, young designer Ma Ke has taken a different route.

 
 Chinese fashion

Ma caused a sensation in February last year with her debut during the Paris ready-to-wear season. More performance art than fashion show, her models appeared on the catwalk with their clothes and skin caked in mud, like warriors from the terracotta army of Emperor Qinshihuang.

 
 Chinese fashion

Buoyed by the success of her Exception label, which is sold in around 50 boutiques across China, she has recently launched her couture line Wuyong (“useless” in Chinese.)

And at the recent Paris Fashion Week, her invitation to show on the sidelines of the collections presented by the grand couture houses is a first for China, which has already marked a presence in the ready-to-wear segment in Paris since 2006.

The Chinese designer is also the only newcomer this season among the 20 or so would-be couturiers invited to show their collections alongside the houses officially deemed worthy of the “haute couture” designation.

Ma has given up the stereotyped Chinese elements such as stand collars and embroideries in her designs. A naturalist, she uses cotton and flax in all her collections and focuses on simple and natural styles in white, brown, grey and blue.

 
 Chinese fashion

“Promoting Chinese fashion doesn’t mean you have to stick to Chinese icons. Heavily Chinese designs are not trendy and can hardly be accepted by international fashion circles,” says Ma. A believer in the philosophy of Lao Zi that sees clothes as the servant of the wearer’s soul, Ma Ke is recognized for her silent, organic and reflexive clothing that is creative and experimental. She has been praised by Le Monde and Vogue as a genius and her collection lauded as everlasting artwork.

by Xiao Xiao xiaoxiao@interactchina.com
   

About Interact China

—————————————————————————————————————————–

“A Social Enterprise in E-commerce Promoting Oriental Aesthetic Worldwide”

Aileen & Norman co-founded Interact China in 2004 with specialization in fine Oriental Aesthetic products handmade by ethnic minorities & Han Chinese. Having direct partnerships with artisans, designers, craft masters and tailors, along with 10 years solid experience in the industry via InteractChina.com, we position well to bring you direct finely selected products that are of good quality and aesthetic taste.

So far we carry 2000+ goods covering areas in Ladies Fashion, Tailor Shop, Home Furnishings, Babies & Kids, Painting Arts, Textile Arts, Carving Arts, Tribal Jewelry Art, Wall Masks and Musical Instruments. Our team speak English, French, German, Spanish and Italian, and serve customers and artisans with hearts.

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P.S. We Need People with Similar Passion to Join Our Blogging Team!

If you have passion to write about Oriental Aesthetic in Fashion, Home Decor, Art & Crafts, Culture, Music, Books, and Charity, please contact us at bloggers@interactchina.com, we would love to hear from you!

   

Chinese Designers Embrace Global Fashion Stage(1)

When foreigners are amazed and enchanted in the mysterious culture and arts of China, Chinese element has already joined the rhythm of global fashion. Cuties bring forth the vogue of minority style on world stage. You may pick them up in most fashionable cities like Paris or Milan.

Embroidered shoes, pleated batik skirts, shining silver accessories of the Miao minority – these are the exotic Chinese flavors that will pervade the Paris fashion trade fair, which begins in the world’s fashion capital today.

 
 Chinese fashion
 
 Chinese fashion
 
 Chinese fashion

China’s promising young designers, He Jian, Zhu Xiaoyu and Yang Jie – all of whom are winners of the latest Seven Brand Cup China Style Costume Creation Contest – will debut at this premier fashion event that brings together the most cutting-edge designs and collections in Europe.

“We think Chinese designers can win international recognition by incorporating unique Chinese elements into world fashion trends,” says He Jian. His collection features innovative combinations of ethnic costumes and modern men’s casuals, while Zhu Xiaoyu and Yang Jie both derive inspiration from the costumes of the Miao and Zhuang minorities. Today’s youngsters have been inspired by the success of other Chinese designers who have starred previously in such fashion capitals as Milan, New York and London.

Zhang Zhifeng, art director of NE Tiger Clothing Company, is one such example. The veteran designer wants to build NE Tiger as an international luxury brand in China – in the same league as Louis Vitton and Armani.

 
 Chinese fashion

Zhang has explored the use of Chinese Yunjin, the special brocade once reserved for royalty, in his collections. He adopts the traditional “seamless” weaving method in his haute couture fabrics, once used exclusively for the brocade dragon robe of the emperors. Exquisite handmade Chinese embroideries of the phoenix and peony are also widely used. As the making of the brocade and the embroideries are extremely time-consuming and complicated, it usually takes Zhang and his skilled craftsmen months to make one suit, with the price hovering in the region of 50,000 yuan ($6,756).

 
 Chinese fashion

“Yunjin and embroidery mark the high points of Chinese clothing culture. I hope to arouse an awareness and appreciation of these rare gems through my designs,” says Zhang.

 
 Chinese fashion

His collections feature a harmonious combination of traditional culture and modern fashion elements. He includes Western fashion inspirations and solid cutting techniques into his designs and applies georgette, damask, Italian baldachin, lace and Swarovski crystals to Chinese silk and brocade to redefine the Western gown, corsage, pleat skirt and fish skirt.

 
 Chinese fashion

Zhang’s persistence has helped NE Tiger, the once barely known local brand, to become the leading Chinese haute couture brand for furs, evening gowns and wedding clothes, in just 10 years. His studios are scattered across the United States, France, Italy and Russia, and his designs have even won over royalty in Europe. For instance, Joachim Holger Waldemar Christian, the prince of Denmark, chose NE Tiger, to make the evening gown for his fiancée.

by Xiao Xiao xiaoxiao@interactchina.com

   

About Interact China

—————————————————————————————————————————–

“A Social Enterprise in E-commerce Promoting Oriental Aesthetic Worldwide”

Aileen & Norman co-founded Interact China in 2004 with specialization in fine Oriental Aesthetic products handmade by ethnic minorities & Han Chinese. Having direct partnerships with artisans, designers, craft masters and tailors, along with 10 years solid experience in e-commerce via InteractChina.com, we position well to bridge talented artisans in the East with the rest of the world, and bring you direct finely selected products that are of good quality and aesthetic taste.

So far we carry 2000+ goods covering Ladies Fashion, Tailor Shop, Home Furnishings, Babies & Kids, Painting Arts, Textile Arts, Carving Arts, Tribal Jewelry Art, Wall Masks and Musical Instruments. Our team speak English, French, German, Spanish and Italian, and serve customers worldwide with passion and hearts.

—————————————————————————————————————————–

P.S. We Need People with Similar Passion to Join Our Blogging Team!

If you have passion to write about Oriental Aesthetic in Fashion, Home Decor, Art & Crafts, Culture, Music, Books, and Charity, please contact us at bloggers@interactchina.com, we would love to hear from you!

   

Traditional Chinese Jewelry Making Techniques

Traditional Chinese jewelry can be made of stone and jade beads and discs, coins, and cord. Chinese jewelry making techniques date back to antiquity. Chinese jewelry is often worn for more than simple ornamentation. Jewelry frequently contains elements of amulets and talismans, with gold often being a form of saving resources for later use.

Chinese Knotting
 Chinese Jewelry

Chinese knots are, in some ways, similar to Celtic knots. Each knot represents a particular traditional Chinese form, and in many cases are representative of Buddhist precepts like the continuation of life. Chinese knotted jewelry usually incorporates a main jade or stone centerpiece and jade, stone, coins or glass beads. The cord from the knots usually is extended upward to make a lanyard for a necklace, but with some bracelet styles the knot or knots are extended around the wrist with a macramé style knot.

Chinese knotting was nearly lost as an art form. In recent years, several books teaching knotting techniques have been released. The cord used in making the knots is readily available at craft or fabric stores.

Chinese Jade
 Chinese Jewelry

Jade is a common material in Chinese jewelry. Jade is usually carved with symbols to bring luck, prosperity and good fortune. Jade is considered protective and is often carved into a solid ring.

Although carving jades is a very specialized skill that often requires years of training, simple cabochons can be made using commonly available lapidary grinders and polishes. A cabochon is an excellent way to show the color and texture of a particularly beautiful piece of jade.

Gold
 Chinese Jewelry

Gold jewelry is viewed as being an investment and store of wealth. Gold is frequently used as a setting for jade and other gemstones.

 Chinese Jewelry

If you are interested in setting jade in gold, look for basket settings at a jewelry-supply store. You may also make a wire-wrap setting using either pure gold or karat gold wire.

 Cloisonné

Cloisonné is a jewelry-making technique where bright colors of enamel are inlaid in a metal base and fired in a kiln. Cloisonné dates back to the 13th century Yuan dynasty. Although cloisonné is used for a variety of items, including bowls and cups, it is a very popular jewelry form. Cloisonné centerpieces are made into pendants, earrings, rings and bracelets.

Premade cloisonné beads are available at bead shops, but you can also make your own. Several companies make inexpensive ovens in which glass and low-temperature ceramics can be melted with brass or bronze wires as separators. With one of these ovens, which operate at a higher temperature than household ovens but not as high as a kiln for most ceramics, simple, but beautiful, cloisonné items can be made.

by Xiao Xiao xiaoxiao@interactchina.com

   

About Interact China

—————————————————————————————————————————–

“A Social Enterprise in E-commerce Promoting Oriental Aesthetic Worldwide”

Aileen & Norman co-founded Interact China in 2004 with specialization in fine Oriental Aesthetic products handmade by ethnic minorities & Han Chinese. Having direct partnerships with artisans, designers, craft masters and tailors, along with 10 years solid experience in e-commerce via InteractChina.com, we position well to bridge talented artisans in the East with the rest of the world, and bring you direct finely selected products that are of good quality and aesthetic taste.

So far we carry 2000+ goods covering Ladies Fashion, Tailor Shop, Home Furnishings, Babies & Kids, Painting Arts, Textile Arts, Carving Arts, Tribal Jewelry Art, Wall Masks and Musical Instruments. Our team speak English, French, German, Spanish and Italian, and serve customers worldwide with passion and hearts.

—————————————————————————————————————————–

P.S. We Need People with Similar Passion to Join Our Blogging Team!

If you have passion to write about Oriental Aesthetic in Fashion, Home Decor, Art & Crafts, Culture, Music, Books, and Charity, please contact us at bloggers@interactchina.com, we would love to hear from you!

   

Beijing Craved Lacquer Ware

Known as one of the “three treasures of Chinese arts and crafts” along with Hunan embroidery and Jiangxi Jingdezhen porcelain, Bejing carved lacquer Ware is famous throughout the world for its unique techniques and detailed carvings.

Beijing lacquer

Origin

Beijing’s carved lacquer ware is one of China’s traditional arts and crafts. Originated in the Tang Dynasty (618-907), Beijing carved lacquer is a traditional form of Chinese art that has existed for at least 1,400 years. It used to be made only for the royal family.

Feature

The lacquer ware is simple and unsophisticated in shape with cinnabar luster, delicate in engraving and characterized by anti-dampness, heat-resistance, endurance of acid and alkali corrosion.

Beijing lacquer

More than thirty different kinds of goods were traditionally produced, including everyday items such as vases, plates, boxes and jars, and decorative objects such as screens.

Beijing lacquer

In the past they were made in only four colors, but the number of colors has increased to over 20 today. Older pieces are invariably monochrome, but polychrome pieces are now being produced. Nevertheless, the traditional dark red monochrome ware is still the most common.

Beijing lacquer

Carving techniques include relief and fretwork. The carving is delicate and precise, and often achieves a three-dimensional effect. Lacquer ware is prized for its lasting qualities, the result of the painstaking procedures used in its creation.

Technique

Beijing carved lacquer ware requires a complicated manufacturing process, which starts with a brass or wooden body. After preparation and polishing, it is coated with several dozen of layers of lacquer, reaching a total thickness of 5 to 18 millimeters. Engravers have to wait for the lacquer to dry naturally so it won’t crack in the future. Then, engravers will cut into the hardened lacquer, creating “carved paintings” of landscapes, human figures, flowers and birds. It is then finished by drying and polishing. The whole making process is rather complex and time consuming. It usually takes at least 6-8 months to finish a piece of carved lacquer ware. The resulting lacquer is waterproof, looks noble and elegant, and its color never fades.

Beijing lacquer

The carved lacquer has once won the prizes home and abroad for many times. It was once awarded the first prize in World Expo held in Panama in 1915 and has become reputed in the world market ever since.

However, nowadays, the ancient industry is on the brink of extinction. The complicated manufacturing process and the high production cost have resulted in the high price of the carved lacquer ware, and consequently a decreasing demand for it on the market. The Beijing carved lacquer ware industry has seen a rapid decrease since the 1980s. Young people are reluctant to learn the skills of lacquer-carving, and many elders in the business have passed away. by Xiao Xiao xiaoxiao@interactchina.com    

About Interact China

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“A Social Enterprise in E-commerce Promoting Oriental Aesthetic Worldwide”
Aileen & Norman, co-founded Interact China in 2004, specialize in fine Oriental Aesthetic products handmade by ethnic people and Han Chinese. With direct partnership with artisans, designers, craft masters and tailors, along with our 10 years solid experience in e-commerce via InteractChina.com, we position well to bring you direct finely selected aesthetic products sourced across China, in reliable quality and delivery, at reasonable price. We prefer individualization and personalized over standardized and automation, and will use our heart, as always, to serve ethnic artisans, cultural heritage successors, affectionate tailors and designers, as well as people who fond of and appreciate Oriental aesthetic.
  So far we carry 2000+ goods covering 10 categories in Ladies Fashion, Tailor Shop, Home Furnishings, Babies & Kids, Musical Instruments, Tribal Jewelry Art, Wall Masks, Painting Arts, Textile Arts and Carving Arts. Our team speak English, French, German, Spanish and Italian, and serve customers wherever they locate.
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P.S. We Need People with Similar Passion to Join Our Blogging Team!
If you have passion to write about Oriental Aesthetic in Fashion, Home Decor, Art & Crafts, Culture, Music, Books, and Charity, please contact us at bloggers@interactchina.com, we would love to hear from you!