Wunijing handmade cotton waving technique in Shanghai.
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Wunijing handmade cotton waving technique

Wunijing handmade cotton waving technique

Wunijing cotton textile weaving techniques originated from weaving skills that Huang Daopo brought back from Yazhou. Between the late Song dynasty and the early Yuan dynasty, Huang Daopo returned to her hometown, Wunijing of Songjiang Prefecture during the Yuanzhen period after 30 years of living a bad life away from home in Hainan (Yazhou). In the process of spreading cotton planting and weaving techniques at her hometown, Huang Daopo improved ginning, fluffing, spinning, weaving skills, created techniques to weave the patterns of broken flowers and the round pattern of phoenix by matching colors and jacquard, thereby developing new textures.

This practice made it possible to replace silk and flax with cotton, promote the cotton weaving industry and alter local economies. Also, local life customs and traditional marriage customs also changed. Wunijing handmade cotton weaving techniques can be considered the core of Chinese weaving.

The wunijing printing and dyeing technique is famous in history. Calico, bare cloth, T-cloth, Ding Nianzi cloth, Korean cloth, twill, bucket cloth, nankeen, guacheng cloth are well known including blue cloth, sapphire blue cloth, grey cloth, colored calico, and blue calico (medicine spot cloth). However, due to the aging of practitioners and lack of written instructions, the traditional cotton weaving and dyeing technique developed by Huang Daopo are dying out and in need of preservation.