fouryearsofshades · 3 months
hi! do you have any information on how hanfu were traditionally washed and stored? thank you :)
First, sorry that it has been so long. Then, sorry that it is a short answer. Hope it is alright.
Expensive clothes were not washed. In the old days they used a lot of plant dyes and those things discoloured when they came in contact with water. Modern plant dyes are slightly better due to the fixative used in dying but the colour still faded with every wash. Hence, people in the old days used to wear layers to avoid dirtied their fancy clothes with sweat.
Clothes can be scented with something called 熏笼/Xūnlóng (lit. "smoke cage").
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It is usually made from bamboo, but rich people could have them made from porcelain, like this one from the Three Kingdoms period.
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A book on incense from the Song dynasty, 洪氏香谱/Hóng shì xiāngpǔ (Hong's Book of Fragrance), recorded the method of scenting clothes: first placed a bowl of hot water to moisturize the clothes, then smoke the clothes with incense.
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Sometimes clothes could be washed separately.
护领/Hùlǐng (lit. "Collar protector". They are usually white in colour) were often detachable so people only needed to wash that instead of the whole clothes. It could also be made from paper.
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Those type of embroidered/painted collars from Song dynasty were attached separately, so it was possible that they were removed while the body of the clothes were washed separately.
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People usually washed clothes in water with the aid of a 捣衣杵/dǎoyī chǔ or 洗衣杵/xǐyī chǔ 搓衣板/cuō yī bǎn wash stick and/or a washboard.
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The earliest type of of soap recorded being used was 草木灰/cǎomù huī (wood ash). Other plant based soaps were also used, such as 皂荚/zàojiá (Gleditsia sinensis, black locust), 无患子/wúhuànzi (Sapindus saponaria, soapberries), 茶箍/chágū(the dregs from pressing oil from camellia seeds plus hay) etc.
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There were also records of potassium soap. Those soaps however were usually in liquid form and often used in fabric manufacture [我国古代的洗涤剂].
猪胰子/Zhū yízi Pig pancreas was also used. 白国斌/Bái Guóbīn (in 2021) wrote how they made pig pancreas soap when he was young - pasted the pig pancreas, then dried and powdered it. Later mix with alkaline water and made into ball to air dry.
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澡豆/Zǎodòu was made from the combination of powdered pig pancreas, bean powder and other herbs. There are many recipes, such as a recipe by 孙思邈/Sūn Sīmiǎo from Tang dynasty includes 16 materials. They were also known as 胰子/Yízi.
Aromatic herbs and other xiang (fragrant things) could also be added into the water in the end to add pleasant fragrance to the clothes, such as a book in Ming dynasty《多能鄙事》/Duō néng bǐ shì ("I can do a lot of humble things") by 刘基/Liú jī recorded: Tree Peony Bark 31.25g and Spikenard 3.125g, powdered.
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ziseviolet · 9 months
Dior Mamianqun Controversy
I received the following message via chat from a follower, that I would like to share here:
Hi, 小紫, do you know that Dior appropriates the modernized mamianqun designed by some hanfu brands in china? link of discussion about Dior 2022 A/W show on weibo: https://weibo.com/6323095999/LChcJyPTa?refer_flag=1001030103_&type=repost#_rnd1657858224778 , I think Dior indeed directly referenced the structure of how it's pleated and inner cutouts of mamianqun which has a long history dated back to ming dynasty and influenced the shape of qing dynasty skirts as well, it is sussy, look how the DIOR model turned around when the skirt spread to reveal the split style, this is indeed the unique inner structure of mamianqun, a more rigorous examination requires DIOR to show the flat design, but Dior is not responding, it claims on the official website that this is their exclusive style launched this year, yet the same style of mamianqun has been prevalent among young people in China for several years, there are several taobao stores making exactly this kind of modernized mamianqun since 2018 or even early (metal leather buckle belt + fabric suitable for autumn and winter + long skirts), such as 四时景, 你好美荔, etc., I don't know how to make it an anonymous ask for you to post my question but I would like to listen to your and other followers' comments on this, thank you 小紫(also feel totally free not to post this one, it's your blog and you make the call ❤️
Here is a screenshot of Dior’s official shop with the skirt in question: 
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And here are screenshots of the skirt being displayed on the runway:
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Although I am not an expert on tailoring, it does look extremely similar to a Chinese mamianqun/马面裙 (horse-face skirt). Below is an actual modern mamianqun from hanfu brand 你好美荔’s 2018 collection, for comparison:
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And here’s a reference sheet on Ming dynasty mamianqun history & construction:
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Below is a summary of key points of Chinese netizens’ comments on Weibo:
Based on tailoring and construction, Dior took direct reference from mamianqun for this skirt
However, this is not necessarily “wrong” in and of itself. After all, fashion brands take inspiration from different cultures all the time
What IS wrong, and what is leading to the backlash from Chinese netizens, is that Dior is claiming that the skirt uses an “iconic Dior silhouette” (标志性的Dior廓形) and is a “completely new...fashion item” (全新的优雅时尚单品). See below for screenshot of the item description on their shop, using these exact words:
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Personally, I agree with all of the above points. The act of a Western fashion house such as Dior taking inspiration from (or directly using) sartorial styles from other cultures is not new. It is also, in my opinion, not necessarily wrong - as long as due credit is given to the culture(s) that served as a reference for the styles. I do not believe that a historic fashion house like Dior is unaware of the existence of mamianqun. After all, even Princess Diana wore a Qing dynasty-style mamianqun before, in 1981 (x): 
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Claiming that the style is totally original and unique to Dior, even an “iconic silhouette” of the brand, is disingenuous in the extreme and deserves to be called out. 
I am interested in hearing what my followers think about this. Especially tagging @fouryearsofshades​ and @audreydoeskaren who are knowledgeable about mamianqun construction and history. What do you all think?
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rongzhi · 5 months
Does the dominant Han ethnic group in china also have traditional dress or is that like asking if white americans have traditional dress? Re; the latest fashion douyin
Han people are the dominant ethnicity in China but obviously they were wearing something other than modern western wear at one point lol?? (not trying to be rude, I just thought it was a funny comparison)
Ethnic Han people's traditional dress is called hanfu. In the modern age, a lot of Han (and others) people also just wear qipaos and changshans and tangzhuang, although these are not considered hanfu. Basically, they may technically be considered Manchu clothing, due to emerging from styles implemented under Manchu rule in the Qing dynasty, but they are also a uniquely modern (20th century) innovation that were shaped over the years by global (western) influences, too.
Generally speaking, hanfu describes any style/era of clothing basically worn by Han people basically up until the very early Qing dynasty (last dynasty), so you will see it cover many styles. There has been a hanfu revival movement in the past decade or so in China so it's becoming more popular to see, and there's sort of combination of people going for strictly historical styles (based on art and written record, etc) and people innovating and incorporating modern ideas of hanfu into their clothing.
You can check out my hanfu tag for a quick idea or go to @ziseviolet and @fouryearsofshades (just the blogs off the top of my head), who both run blogs much more dedicated to hanfu and know much more than me about the subject.
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hey, I thought I'd message you here rather than take up howdy's notes lmao, your points about the spiritual part of traditional weddings was really interesting and I was wondering if you had any recs for further reading on that topic. I'd love to know more!
thanks! Chinese wedding traditions- many weddings go thru the tried and true proceedings that is depicted in the Book of Rites (Liji) written by Confucius. Nowadays it features as a guideline for most Chinese weddings with traditional ones giving it a specific emphasis.
New hanfu has this post about it- any tradition thats thousands of years old imbues itself in meaning over time. For the actual clothes themselves nowadays its mostly hanfu for the aesthetic, Manchu qipao are also pretty common- hanfu went out of style for 3 centuries and only now is getting a comeback. There's loads of chinese history tumblrs (who lean towards being clothes studs because that happens to be my interest). People who come to mind are:
fouryearsofshades - who also has a masterlist for Hanfu wedding traditions
All of whom are way more knowledgeable than me, if their ask boxes are open I'm sure they'd be happy to answer.
This 8min video on various wedding traditions of the 56 ethnicities. There's also this animation on the various ethnic dress (with some inaccuracy) that I am recommending because it looks excellent and the maker truly tried their best in their research. sorry i couldnt be of more help, hv a nice day :D
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phlebasphoenician · 13 hours
tag game thing!
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Rules: tag 20 people you want to get to know better.
Tagged by @luninosity​ five days ago and I'm still squeeing over it!
Relationship status: happily married to an Awesome Husband!
Favourite colour: Green! From a colour swatch I love a really rich emerald shade, but my actual favourite colour is the green of a bamboo forest when the wind is whistling through the leaves and the whole world is green and growing in the sunlight.
Song stuck in my head: Straight No Chaser's Movie Medley, I find myself humming it at the most random times. 
Last song I listened to: Crabbuckit, sung by the Good Lovelies
Three favourite foods: teppanyaki, chai tow kueh, bak chor mee pok
Last thing I googled: the website to repot scams in my country 🤣
Dream trip: Japan again!
Anything I want right now: oh gosh, um, more writing time. Or to be assured that my retinas are going to be fine, that would be very nice too...
Tagging: 20 people is a lot but here goes!
@tarutaruga​ @magnolian-gold​ @writhingbeneathyou​ @jellyfish9650​ @artbythedarkside​ @momo-ceros​ @longliveustherecklessandthebrave​ @raegunblast​ @swiftfrost​ @mooshi-png​ @madmothmadame​ @woofgang69​ @heyitswrenn​ @hidendumbassvillage​ @evapourate-rn​ @sugah--bee​ @greyduckgreygoose​ @emilx311​ @fouryearsofshades​ @zanahoriabaila​
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guzhuangheaven · 2 years
Hello! I was watching Sword and Brocade (and loved it!) and the clothes were lovely. Can you please explain what the long outer garment is that the female lead (and all the married women in the marquis mansion) begins to wear once she is married as opposed to the short, waist length jacket she wears when she's unmarried? And can you walk us through the many layers underneath that long outer robe? Thank you, love your blog!
We know very little about Ming dynasty clothes, but the basic hanfu for Ming dynasty women is called aoqun. From this post by @ziseviolet
- Aoqun/袄裙 ...became fashionable during the Ming Dynasty. It consists of a double-layered top called “ao/袄“ and a waist-high skirt (”qun”), hence “aoqun”. Unlike the “standard” ruqun that has the top tucked inside the skirt, the aoqun’s top is worn untucked, above the skirt. There are two types of “ao” - “short ao” and “long ao”. The “short ao” reaches the waist, while the “long ao” covers the knees. Ao collars can be crossed, upright, or square. Only worn by women.
We also recommend consulting hanfu blogs like ziseviolet, @hanfu-asks @fouryearsofshades for specifics about hanfu. We know nothing. 
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So, above, the outermost layer that Shiyi Niang is wearing is a square-collar ao. I think the inner buttoned layer probably is an upright collar unlined top (shan/衫)? Probably? 
Ming dynasty women also wear a jacket called pifeng 披风. It is the outermost layer that Lianfang is wearing in the photo below. 
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The shorter jacket Shiyi Niang wears when she was unmarried is a bijia 比甲:
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Here are some Youtube video with English narration on cross-collar aoqun and how to wear it, upright collar, mamian qun, bijia. Here’s a video on different types of Ming dynasty women’s clothes. It has the name of the different types of clothes in Chinese characters which unfortunately doesn’t have English subtitles, but you can see the different styles and how they layer.
See also: Powerpoint on Ming dynasty fashion,  Evolution of the Traditional Chinese Dress
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yugiri315 · 8 months
LWJ Cosplay Log
Overall Stats!!
Given my cosplay history, I am no stranger to monochrome.  My characters seem to wear either all black or all white.  To make an outfit like that work you need to layer and think more on your fabric choice.  So different shades of white or blue and different textures were used to make LWJ something interesting to look at other than being a cloud or steamed bun.
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Also, most of the bias tape, ribbons, and lapels were made from scratch.  They’re all basically bias tape of varying sizes and functions.
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This whole project went from, I’ll just buy the cosplay off Taobao and find someone to do gay shoots with to an intense project that took 2 years to make and, calculating for minimum wage…has a net worth of under $7000!  Holy shit what a scary number, I don’t want to look at it again.  QAQ Even not counting labor, the material cost is as low as it can get but still...whoa ^^;
All that time and money and I have no remotely descent pics to show for it.  These cos-test shots by Dr. Tog will have to do.  Some day, I will have a proper LWJ shoot.  I hope!
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Patterning:   https://www.bilibili.com/video/BV1Qb411j7z6?spm_id_from=333.905.b_72656c61746564.1 http://www.yeoh.com/index2.php?section=journal&g=691 https://cosplayqna.tumblr.com/image/38971971992 https://torguqin.wordpress.com/hanfu/hanfu-tutorial-list/
Hanfu Resources: @ziseviolet​:  https://ziseviolet.tumblr.com/about @fouryearsofshades​:  https://fouryearsofshades.tumblr.com/post/179249195707/hello-do-you-happen-to-have-a-master-post-of-all
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I posted 924 times in 2022
That's 213 more posts than 2021!
203 posts created (22%)
721 posts reblogged (78%)
Blogs I reblogged the most:
I tagged 894 of my posts in 2022
Only 3% of my posts had no tags
#inspiration - 104 posts
#gif - 81 posts
#video - 79 posts
#the writer speaks - 62 posts
#words - 53 posts
#historical fashion - 50 posts
#character inspiration - 48 posts
#chinese historical fashion - 47 posts
#dusk rewrite - 45 posts
#history - 39 posts
Longest Tag: 139 characters
#dusk is still a priority but i still haven't cleared fucking [] after it scooped up the fifty pdfs i downloaded so i don't have the gd stor
My Top Posts in 2022:
after watching c*alamity - the absolute best gdamn thing i've ever seen - it inspired me to start writing a wee thing of my own. it's planned to be serialised eventually on my writing blog, Tales of Devran and Others.
The scream that rent the mountains would in time have spawned cryptids and legends if it had survived the day. Instead the canyon left in its wake was fled. A whisper of sinners and a surge of cults were its legacy. Terror of the Gods and their whims scarred hearts across generations and the wild places of the world were abandoned for fear of offending some primordial power. But there was nowhere safe from the fury of the Earth Mother.
1 note - Posted June 17, 2022
2 notes - Posted March 17, 2022
panicking in not having made more progress with publishing has somehow turned me to poetry which i do not know how to write but i think these words are pretty
2 notes - Posted February 20, 2022
I've been drifting that way for a while but who knew it'd be cr that finally got me to start drafting an orc romance.
2 notes - Posted January 7, 2022
My #1 post of 2022
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images @/oweni and @/bjorns
The House of....
NaNoWriMo '22
Ness arrives alone at her great uncle's home as her family congregates, expecting his death and awaiting the reading of his will. Surrounded by strangers with her surname, and deeply insecure about her place in the family, she finds relief in halls long abandoned, and a beautiful painting hung in its loneliest hall.
key words
xianxia inspired fantasy . romance . sino main character . adoptee main character . adult .
2 notes - Posted November 4, 2022
Get your Tumblr 2022 Year in Review →
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hanfugallery · 2 years
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brocade handbag for chinese hanfu by honeylone
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fouryearsofshades · 27 days
Do you know anything about the Vermillion bird, like mythology stories? I can't find much about it other than its a symbol of the lunar mansions.
Me neither. It is the name of the southern group of constellation in the Twenty-Eight Mansions. There are literature about it, such as in Xi Shi (Sorrow for Troth Betrayed): [...] I ordered the vermilion bird to lead the way in the front, [...], but I don't think it is personalized or being mentioned of its habits. Maybe others have more information on it?
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audreydoeskaren · 1 year
In some dynasties, it seems one of the make up looks for women was to have down turned eyebrows, giving them a sad or forlorn look. What was the significance of this? What it repsentative of a feminine ideal at the time? I apologize that I can't refer to specific dynasties for reference.
I know exactly what you’re talking about but I really can’t pinpoint the time period either. I assume it’s something Medieval? Maybe @ziseviolet or @fouryearsofshades has more info?
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ziseviolet · 1 year
What exactly does Dunhuang style mean?
Hi, thanks for the question! (x)
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Dunhuang/敦煌 style refers to the art, fashion, and culture depicted in the Dunhuang Murals/敦煌壁画 of China, which are located in the Mogao Caves in Dunhuang, Gansu Province. From the 4th to 14th century, the caves were constructed by Buddhist monks to serve as shrines with funds from donors. These caves were elaborately painted, the cave paintings and architecture serving as aids to meditation, visual representations of the quest for enlightenment, and teaching tools for Buddhist beliefs and stories. The major caves were sponsored by patrons such as important clergy, local ruling elite, foreign dignitaries, as well as Chinese emperors (x). Below - painting from the Dunhuang Murals (x):
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Dunhuang-style (敦煌风) hanfu refers to hanfu that is recreated from, based on, and/or inspired by the Dunhuang Murals. Inspiration is typically derived from two types of figures depicted in the paintings: cave patrons/donors & Feitian (apsaras).
The Dunhuang Murals depict many patrons & donors of the caves, people of high standing in society dressed in elaborate garments. You can see many hanfu recreations of the patrons in my dunhuang tag. The photo at the top of this post is a recreation of a patron. Additional examples below (1, 2, 3, 4):
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The second major source of inspiration for Dunhuang-style hanfu is Feitian/飞天. Feitian is the Chinese word for apsara, which are beautiful flying celestials in Buddhism, skilled in music and dance. It is estimated that there are more than 4,500 flying apsaras painted in the 270 plus Mogao Caves. Below - depictions of Feitian in Dunhuang Murals (x):
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The Feitian in the paintings aren’t depicted wearing historical Chinese hanfu, but rather non-realistic fantastical garments common in Buddhist art. Thus, Feitian-style hanfu is not, strictly speaking, recreating the clothing of Feitian, but rather imitating it using hanfu garments. Feitian-style hanfu typically consists of u-collar, half-sleeve, Tang dynasty-style sets. Below - hanfu based on the Feitian aesthetic (1, 2):
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This particular hanfu outfit below has been tucked & draped in a non-traditional way to resemble Feitian clothing (x):
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Now there is also a relatively new trend of recreating Feitian costumes closer to how they are depicted in the Murals. These costumes typically consist of items like bandeaus, pants, and scarves that are influenced by Indian clothing (which makes sense since Buddhism and apsaras came to China from India). Recently, it has become popular to have Feitian-themed photoshoots wearing such costumes. Below - examples of Feitian costumes (1, 2, 3):
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Note that Dunhuang-style Feitian costumes are not considered hanfu. They are in their own separate category, and are typically referred to as “Dunhuang Feitian Costume” (敦煌飞天服), or just “Feitian Costume” for short. They are usually only worn for dance, performances, or photoshoots. Nonetheless, like hanfu, they are a part of the broader trend of interest in historical & traditional fashion in China. Below - Left: Feitian-style hanfu, Right: Feitian costume (x):
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For more information and visual references, please check out my Dunhuang & Feitian tags, as well as the following posts: 
@fouryearsofshades has two informative posts on Dunhuang/Feitian-style clothing here & here.
@siumerghe has a detailed post on the Dunhuang Murals here, as well as several posts on recreations of patrons’ clothing: 1, 2, 3, 4.
Hope this helps!
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rongzhi · 1 year
Hello! I have a question. I wanted to sew a hanfu garment for one of my friends. Where can I find resources about hanfu? I don't know much but I'd love to learn.
I'm neither an expert in hanfu nor sewing so I really can't say! I know there are companies/online boutiques that sell hanfu and custom hanfu of various dynasties/styles, but I would guess your best bet with handcrafting them would be to find somewhere that sells the fabrics or popular patterns. Each dynasty has it's own style of hanfu.
As for the pieces that comprise various styles of hanfu, @ziseviolet and @fouryearsofshades have a lot of resources about the hanfu from different dynasties/their occasions for wear/etc.
I personally would caution you to spend a decent amount of time to learn about hanfu and Chinese culture around it before just jumping in to make or wear the clothes, though. I think it would be in really poor taste to treat it simply as a pretty costume, especially if you're not Chinese.
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