Hope everyone had an amazing summer!
One of the best parts of my summer was being able to go back to China and see where all of the magic behind our brocades happens. It’s always so inspiring and reinvigorating, and this last trip was no exception.
Suzhou is a city west of Shanghai that’s best known for its silk brocade and classical gardens. We were invited by Visit Suzhou to explore the area and learn more about the history of silk making and brocade textiles — it was such an honor and truly a one of a kind experience getting in touch with our culture and community.
Come along with me and check out my travel diary!
Stop 1: Traditional Hand Studio
Here, we got to see the making of exact replicas of Hanfu based on historical documents and discovered textiles from ancient tombs. We watched the process of remaking from textile to garment, all following traditional techniques — it was so special and such a delicate process.
Stop 2: Suzhou Silk Museum
We learned so much about the history and timeline of silk and brocade textiles. It was so interesting to discover more about the first introduction of velvet into traditional silk textiles, and just to see the vast variations of textiles I had never known about.
Stop 3: Food (of course)
Suzhou is also famous and is an icon representing the Jiangsu and Zhejiang regions near Shanghai. I finally had the chance to try out their most famous dish: Triple Shrimp Noodles — can I just say… yum.
Stop 4: Song Brocade Textile Art
We had the incredible opportunity to visit National Silk Scholar XiaoPing Qian and her gallery. I was so amazed by her skills and dedication to celebrate brocade. She creates the most stunning oil painting-inspired artworks with brocade textiles, it gave me such a deeper appreciation for the fabrics we hold so near and dear to our hearts. Besides her artwork, the studio also is dedicated to celebrating and promoting the beauty of brocade. They develop and produce their own brocade textiles in house! It’s so affirming to see our goal of celebrating and promoting brocade in our modern style coming to life step by step.
I was so inspired by this trip and all of the history we’ve learned from the creation of brocade.
Can’t wait to show you our next chapter — see you soon!