Royal Clothes Made of Nanjing Yunjin Brocade

Venue:Yunjin Brocade Hall in the Jiangning Imp

Yunjin brocade is the general term for the various jacquard weaving fabrics, mainly brocades, produced in Nanjing. It has evolved from the famous gold-wefted brocades of the Yuan dynasty. By the Ming dynasty, there had appeared the weaving technique of “zhuanhua”. The fabrics made using this technique were acclaimed as the best of all the Yunjing brocade fabrics. Yunjin brocade, the product of the best traditional Chinese brocade craftsmanship, represents China’s highest achievement in silk weaving, and is the last milestone for China’s ancient silk weaving craft. In 2009, UNESCO put Nanjing Yunjin Brocade Weaving Techniques onto its Representative List of the Intangible Cultural Heritage of Humanity. The origin of Yunjin brocade can be traced back to the “Douchang Brocade Bureau” that Liu Yu, Emperor Andi of the Eastern Jin dynasty, established in the 13th year of the Yi Xi reign (417). Since Kublai set up an official weaving bureau in Nanjing in 17th year of the Zhiyuan reign (1280), the brocade weaving looms have been operating in the city for more than 700 years. As tributes to royal families in the Yuan, Ming, and Qing dynasties, Yunjin brocade has been famous for its complicated weaving processes and gorgeous decorations. Still keeping its hand-woven tradition, Yunjing brocade has now become a living fossil for China’s traditional brocade weaving craft. Yunjin brocade weaving is a traditional craft that has rich cultural connotations. It has not only embodied the cultures of palaces, institutions, and royal etiquettes, but has also become an important part of folk culture and customs. Its emergence and development had exerted an important impact on politics, economy, culture, science and technology, art, literature, customs, and many other aspects of ancient China. Nanjing has nearly 2,500 years of history as a city and nearly 450 years of history as a capital. The profound historical and cultural heritage of the city has provided a fertile soil for the development of the Yunjin brocade craft. The colorful, splendid Yunjin brocade, in return, has been like a beautiful lace for the city of Nanjing. Yunjin brocade is not only the pride of Nanjing, but also a Chinese treasure and a common heritage of the whole mankind.

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