A Qing Dynasty (1644-1911) black satin with red silk embroidery in patterns of dragon, phoenix and flower. [Photo by Liu Huan/provided to chinadaily.com.cn]
With a history of 1580 years, Nanjing Yunjin brocade is an outstanding representative of Chinese traditional culture. Named for the cloud-like splendor of the fabrics, Yunjin remains popular throughout the country.
"Jin" represents the highest technical level of the ancient silk fabrics. In China, Yunjin brocade in Nanjin, Shujin brocade in Chengdu, Songjin brocade in Suzhou and Zhuangjin brocade in Guangxi are known as the "four famous brocades in China".
For Nanjing Yunjin brocade ranks the first among the famous brocades of ancient China. The Yuan, Ming and Qing dynasties all gave it in royal tribute and used it to produce royal garments such as dragon robes; today, it is still used to make high-end attire and souvenirs.
The craftsmanship of Nanjing Yunjin brocade requires over one hundred procedures, including manufacturing looms, drafting patterns, dressing the loom and the many stages of the weaving itself.
Owing to its rich cultural and scientific connotations, Nanjing Yunjin brocade is regarded as the last milestone in the history of Chinese ancient brocade craftsmanship. It is also recognized as an “oriental treasure" and one of the most precious historical and cultural heritages of the Chinese nation and the world.
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