Traditional Li textile techniques
Spinning, dyeing, weaving and embroidering
Designated by UNESCO as an Intangible Cultural Heritage In Need of Urgent Safeguarding, traditional Li textile techniques are traditional craftsmanship used to make clothes and other daily necessities.
Techniques include “twisting spindle”, “spinning yarn by treadle-operated one-spindle-wheel”, “dying yarn and fabric with natural dyestuff like vegetable dye”, “spinning with lap loom” and “embroidery”.
Textiles made by traditional Li textile techniques, such as dragon quilts, “head-through garment”, coverlet, tight skirt, kerchief, hat and wall hangings allcome under the banner of "Li Brocade". Dragon quilts are a comprehensive showcase of such techniques, once regarded as a suitable tribute to emperors.
The most distinctive works of Li Brocade are warp ikat (a dyeing technique), double-face embroidery, hemp embroidery and single-face & double-face jacquard weaving. Patterns on Li Brocades represent the identities of clans, motifs to distinguish the five dialectic clans of the Li minority, which are Ha, Qi, Meifu, Run and Sai. Li Brocade has an important historical status because of its historical, scientific and artistic value. Techniques are passed down from mothers to daughters, and brocades are carriers of Li culture, cherished by the Li people.