Shu Brocade: The Earliest Brocade in China

By Sichuan Museum

The Modern Shu Brocade Quilt Cover. by UnknownSichuan Museum

The Bashu area is one of the oldest and most important centers of sericulture, silk governance and brocade in ancient China. Shu brocade has the longest history among the four famous types of brocade in China. It is regarded as the "mother of brocade in China" given its age, name, and manufacture of brocade machines.

Modern Shu Brocade Jacket by UnknownSichuan Museum

From the Qin and Han dynasties to the Tang dynasty, Shu brocade was distributed to Mongolia, Xinjiang, Qinghai, the former Soviet Union and other northern silk roads, and to Japan and other overseas silk roads. It enriches the contents of the civilizations in South Asia, Central Asia, North Asia and even Europe, thus communicating the economic and cultural exchanges between China and various regions in the world. This has made positive and remarkable contributions to China's understanding of the world and the world's understanding of China.

Brocade Machine of Qing Dynasty (1636/1912)Sichuan Museum

This is a Shu brocade machine made by a Chengdu machine room during the Jiaqing and Daoguang years of the Qing dynasty(1644-1911).

They're national cultural relics.

The machine is made from thousands of bamboo and wood parts. It was disassembled at the time of collection, there are few metal components.

It was first mentioned in the encyclopaedia Tiangong Kaiwu.

It is similar to the Ming loom in structure and functionality.

Until then, old brocade artists could perform boarding operations - helpful for understanding the long history of sericulture and silk weaving industry in Sichuan.

Brocade Machine of Qing Dynasty (1636/1912) by UnknownSichuan Museum

We can see clearly the components of the machine which are made from bamboo.

Brocade Machine of Qing Dynasty (1636/1912) by UnknownSichuan Museum

The axle feeds the thread used for embroidery.

Brocade Machine of Qing Dynasty (1636/1912) by UnknownSichuan Museum

The threads are interlaced...

Brocade Machine of Qing Dynasty (1636/1912) by UnknownSichuan Museum

...and feed down into the machine...

Brocade Machine of Qing Dynasty (1636/1912)Sichuan Museum

...and here's the finished brocade.

The Sample of Shu Brocade by UnknownSichuan Museum

And another view of the brocade being weaved in this ancient machine of the Qing dynasty.

The Shu Brocade in Green Background and Decorated with Branch Peony of Qianlong period of Qing dynasty. (1636/1912)Sichuan Museum

This is brocade of green satin with bunches of beige flowers and stems.

The Shu Brocade of Qing Qianlong Dynasty with Colorful Caisson (1636/1912) by UnknownSichuan Museum

And one of yellow satin with rapping emblazonry, and chequered ornaments.

The Shu Brocade with Cloud Dragon Pattern of Qing Dynasty (1636/1912) by UnknownSichuan Museum

This green satin brocade is decorated with a dragon and cloud pattern.

The Shu Brocade of Qing Daoguang Dynasty with Strain of Branch (1636/1912) by UnknownSichuan Museum

Colourful flowers adorn this one.

The Shu Brocade of Qing Ddynasty in Blue Grounding with Badayun Ornamentation (1636/1912) by UnknownSichuan Museum

Blue satin with Badayun decoration.

The Shu Brocade of Ming Dynasty with Badayun Ornament. (1368/1644) by UnknownSichuan Museum

Red satin with Badayun emblazonry.

The Shu Brocade of Ming Dynasty with Double Lion Snowflake Ball Streaks. (1368/1644) by UnknownSichuan Museum

The pattern made up of different sizes of round mirror decorations.

Red Peony Grain Shu Brocade Quilt with Golden Life Pad of Qing Dynasty. (1636/1912) by UnknownSichuan Museum

This red brocade has a peony pattern with a crane, sika deer and a moose.

The Shu Brocade of Song Dynasty with Badayun Ornamentation in Cream-colored Ground. (960/1279) by UnknownSichuan Museum

Shu brocade with Badayun decoration on a cream-colored background.

The Shu Brocade of Short-sleeved Cheongsam of Modern Time by UnknownSichuan Museum

A cheongsam with short sleeves, an upright collar, flower clasp, and red brocade with a silk lining.

The Shu Brocade with Curly Grass Butterfly Stripe of Ming Dynasty. (1368/1644) by UnknownSichuan Museum

Brocade with a pattern like butterfly with flowers for wings, and interlocking leaves like hooks.

The Modern Shu Brocade Quilt Cover. by UnknownSichuan Museum

Red, blue and green brocade, with a pattern like an agricultural map depicting rural life.

Credits: Story

Sichuan Museum

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