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Yunjin's scintillating silks

Updated: 2024-01-27 10:08 ( China Daily )
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Modern Yunjin brocade formal wear showcases the application of the old technique in modern haute couture.[Photo provided to China Daily]

According to the museum, as early as in the Ming and Qing dynasties, the technique for weaving with gold thread had matured to the extent that one gram of gold could be hammered into gold foil 0.12 micrometers thick that could cover an area of 0.47 square meters.

Due to its extremely thin and lightweight nature, even skilled craftspeople have to control their breathing to avoid blowing the gold foil away. They flatten it on paper and cut it into the fine threads that eventually become the shimmering gold lines of Yunjin brocade.

After the founding of the People's Republic of China in 1949, the government paid special attention to the preservation and inheritance of brocade weaving techniques. In 1957, the Nanjing Yunjin Research Institute was founded, followed by the establishment of the Nanjing Yunjin Museum, the only museum in the country dedicated to the history, weaving techniques, culture and contemporary art related to this brocade style.

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