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Suzhou craftsmen to heal old ailing Kesi dragon robe

09
Nov '06
The Ming-Qing dragon robe being collected by Beijing Palace Museum and Summer Palace is damaged, experts searched all over the country but found no one to mend the robe.

Finally they came to the ancient Suzhou city and discovered Wang Jia Liang, the fifth-generation descendant from the royal art and craft family of kèsi(Design and Application of Silk Tapestry with Cut Design).

These days, Wang's family is actively making preparation, and the repairing work is about to begin.

In addition to repairing the robe, Wang Jia Liang has also got the task to replicate one piece of Ming-Qing dragon robe for the National Palace Museum.

The art and craft of kèsi (cut silk) is a traditional technique in Suzhou, which absolutely began in Han Dynasty. They are high-grade silk handicrafts based on silk as raw material with patterns like carving.

Kesi is a unique technique of weaving with raw silk as warp and colored scouring silk as weft.

Since Yuan Dynasty, Kesi art and craft was used to dragon robes for royal families and nobles as well as the Qing emperor's dragon robes. Therefore Kesi art and craft was closely linked with the lives of emperors.

Wang Jia Liang, 68 years old, was born in Zhanghua village in Xiangcheng district, Suzhou. The five generations of the family have been proficient in Kesi art and craft skills.

Wang and his son studied the weathered dragon robe. Its pattern is mainly in dragon, longevity, bats and flame designs. According to Wang, it will be a tough task to do the mere imitation. And it will probably take two years to complete the whole repairing work.

Fibre2fashion, News Desk - China


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