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PostPosted: Sat Apr 19, 2008 6:47 pm 
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Joined: Thu Feb 05, 2004 12:27 am
Posts: 124
Location: Los Angeles, CA
A friend picked up this piece at a garage sale and wanted to know where it came from. I didn't have a clue, but was sure that one of you would know


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PostPosted: Sat Apr 19, 2008 6:50 pm 
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Location: Los Angeles, CA
More views


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PostPosted: Sun Apr 20, 2008 1:32 pm 
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Joined: Sun Jun 29, 2003 1:42 pm
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Location: Canterbury, UK
First of all, welcome back to the forum, Bill - you have been away for too long!

I think I can help your friend with an ID of this textile. When I was researching Florian's cloud collar ( http://www.tribaltextiles.info/communit ... php?t=1139 ) recently I particularly noted similar skirts.

I believe that this is a Han Chinese woman's skirt from the late 19th century. I am going to post some photos showing similar skirts and also the style of jacket that would have been worn with them. I have two publications which illustrate them: a lovely catalogue that Linda Wrigglesworth and Gary Dickinson put together for their selling exhibition 'In focus: The Robe' for the month of June in 2003. They had a page of Han Chinese women's dress showing one lady's jacket and two Han Chinese lady's skirts embroidered with flowers and butterflies - this would seem to fit with the panel in your friend's textile. These were both 100cm in length. They note that:
Quote:
"Han Chinese women wore styles of dress that honoured pre-Qing, Chinese traditions. Chinese women wore three-quarter length, wide sleeved coats over elaborately pleated skirts. They were also distinguished by binding their feet, a practice forbidden to Manchu women."


The second publication I have is 'Dragons and Silk from the Forbidden City' in The Genius of China: a Close-up Guide' series, ISBN 962-217-489-2, first published in 1998 which I probably bought in Hong Kong. It is written by Teresa Coleman 'who has lived in Hong Kong since 1982 and is a specialist in Chinese textiles.' The description of the traditional Han Chinese-style skirt is interesting:
Quote:
"The traditional Han Chinese skirt consisted of a pair of pleated aprons, with embroidered panels back and front. It was wrapped around the waist and fixed with a cord. The side pleating added weight and flexibility, which allowed the skirt to flow attractively when the wearer walked on bound feet. This created the 'willow-swaying walk' considered by Han Chinese men as the epitome of feminine beauty."
Both items shown in this book were c. 1870.

I am going to post this and then add the photos in a subsequent post.

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http://www.tribaltextiles.info
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Last edited by Pamela on Sun Apr 20, 2008 1:57 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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PostPosted: Sun Apr 20, 2008 1:56 pm 
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Joined: Sun Jun 29, 2003 1:42 pm
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I find it very interesting in your friend's skirt that the stitching of the pleats has started to come undone in parts and you can see the pleats opening and that the embroidery is only on the top surface that shows - no hard work is wasted on the fabric which is hidden inside the stitched down pleats! I thought when I saw these and before I had done the research that stitching down the pleats like this would give some stiffening to the silk - and was pleased to see something on this theme mentioned in the texts.

The style of the pink skirt from the Linda Wrigglesworth brochure is quite similar in style to that belonging to your friend.

I am taking the liberty of posting these photos. As Linda kindly gave permission for a cloud collar from another publication of hers to be shown on the forum I am hoping this will be OK (and will email her to let her know). See the cloud collar thread - link above - for contact info for Linda Wrigglesworth. The Dragons and Silk, a very slim but well produced booklet is, I would assume, very difficult to find but I would certainly commend it to you if you can locate one. It has very good quality images as well as informative text. At the end of the booklet is a summary of symbols used in Chinese embroidery so is a very useful reference. There is actually an email at the end of the booklet airman@gateway.net.hk so I should make the effort to contact them and confirm that use of the photo is OK


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File comment: 9/0899 Han Chinese lady's skirt embroidered with flowers and butterflies. 100cm length. Late 19th Century. From 'Han Chinese Women's Dress' in ' 'In Focus' The Robe' by Linda Wrigglesworth & Gary Dickinson for their June 03 exhibit in London.
Han_Chinese_lady-s_skirt49.jpg
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File comment: 9/0899 - Han Chinese lady's skirt embroidered with flowers and butterflies. 100cm length. Late 19th Century. From 'Han Chinese Women's Dress' in ' 'In Focus' The Robe' by Linda Wrigglesworth & Gary Dickinson for their June 03 exhibit in London.
Han_Chinese_lady-s_skirt99.jpg
Han_Chinese_lady-s_skirt99.jpg [ 63.34 KiB | Viewed 5751 times ]
File comment: Page 21 'Dragons and Silk from the Forbidden City. Han chinese-style woman's short robe and pleated skirt. The robe, complete with sleevebands, shows embroidered imperial dragon boats festooned with ceremonial canopies and banners. The lilght blue damas
HCS-dragons.jpg
HCS-dragons.jpg [ 78.63 KiB | Viewed 5751 times ]

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http://www.tribaltextiles.info
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