Friday, 5 May 2017


A fierce, if rather surprised looking, dragon from a detail on a silk Chinese dragon robe c1900.  Most dragon robes have a large dragon in the centre of the garment with smaller dragons on the sleeves and on the hem. Chinese emperors, court members and officials all wore dragon robes on special occasions but the types would be differ depending on status, only the five clawed dragon could be worn by the emperor.  The palace's tailor shop employed hundreds of artisans to cut the silk fabric, sew and embroider.  Happily many examples of Chinese garments survive from the Qing dynasty (1644-1911) in costume collections all over the world. 

One can be entranced both by the material and embroidery of Chinese clothing seen here on more informal wear -
Palace Museum collection, Beijing
a woman's riding jacket (magua) from the Guangxu reign (1875-1908) which is made of satin with an embroidered pattern of wisteria.  What a wonderful item of clothing to ride out in. 

Postcards for the Weekend theme - Traditional Craft Work - at Connections to the World


Maria said...

Embroidery on Chinese robes always fascinates me with the detailed design and colors! I wonder how long it would have taken the worker/workers to finish on a single robe when everything had to be done by hands.

Thanks for sharing and happy weekend!

John Edwards said...

What beautiful designs - so much skill!