Nanjing brocade

With a history of 1580 years and as an outstanding representative of excellent traditional culture of China, it earns its name thanks to its gorgeousness and colorfulness like beautiful glow in the sky. “Brocade”represented the fabric of the highest weaving technology among all kinds of fabrics in ancient times. Nanjing brocade epitomizes craftsmanship of all kinds of brocades in the past. It is reputed as one of the “Four famous brocades in China”together with Shu brocade in Chengdu, Song brocade in Suzhou and Zhuang brocade in Guangxi autonomous region. Nanjing brocade is universally acknowledged as“An oriental gem” and “A wonder in China”due to its rich connotation of culture, science and technology.
Nanjing brocade has always been known as“One-inch borcade equals one inch-gold”. It is produced by a 5.6-meter-long, 4-meter-high and 1.4-meter-wide Dahualou wooden jacquard with one operator on its upper part and the other operator at its lower part. In the course of weaving, one operator known as“A Zhuaihua worker”on its upper part lifts and flings threads according to the order while the other operator at its lower part is called “A weaver”who applies the technique of “Tongjingjiwei”(piecing wefts with an indefinite number of colorful flannelettes ), Wahuapanzhi and Zhuangjinfucai, hence turning out colorful Nanjing brocade. The weaving plane in front of him resembles the computer screen, a technology which still cannot be replaced by machines. 
Nanjing brocade is marked by superb and meticulous weaving technology. In addition to “Tiaohuajieben” and “Tongjingjiwei”introduced above, Jiajinzhiyin (woven with gold and silver threads) is also a major feature of Nanjing brocade. Nanjing brocade met the needs of the royal family thanks to its gracefulness, magnificance and splendor. As the later comer, Nanjing brocade reached the prime of brocade-weaving technology since it had long been the object for the imperial court, its meticulous craftsmanship and production at all costs. Nanjing brocade chiefly falls into four categories, i.e. “Zhijin”(foils made of gold, cut into filatures and twisted into threads), “Ku brocade”, “Ku satin” and “Zhuanghua” used for weaving the emperor robe, the empress blouse, the glow overcoat, beautiful garments for concubines, decoration of the imperial court, seats, beddings, cushions, pillows and quilts as objects of daily use, etc. Sometimes,  Nanjing brocade was taken as the tribute to the imperial court, the gift for foreign monarches envoys as well as the award for ministers and those with exploits.


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