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The silk-making process began as a secret. 

Originating in China as early as 100 B.C. (or even earlier), the practice of creating brocade — the shiny, patterned textile that has become almost synonymous with Chinese fashion and style — began with looms and little-known techniques. 

( UNESCO: Representative List of the Intangible Cultural Heritage of Humanity - 2009 ) 

The style spread over time, traveling down the Silk Road all the way to Europe. But the fingerprints of China have always stayed. The red and gold cranes, blue and silver phoenixes, and all the other iconic prints we know and love also made way for new patterns inspired by new places.

Chinese Brocade Cranes

(SARAJO Mounted Chinese Brocade C)

We saw patterns arise with more Western elements like flowers and fruits with Christian inspiration.

Christian Interpretation of Brocade Fabric

(Fashion Fabrics Club Beige/Multi Texnova Floral Tapestry Home Decorating Fabric)

No matter how far it strayed from home, brocade has always been seen as a luxury to be valued for its craft and culture. A symbol of status and wealth, it was even compared to infamous valuables in Italy — it’s just that special. 

Now, brocade can be found across countries and cultures. But, it’s also beginning to fade. As the complex techniques learned by older generations become less common — and as supply chains and production become more challenging to navigate — brocade as a style staple faces an uncertain future. 

This makes it all the more important to preserve and reinvent the ways we keep this Chinese tradition alive — and revived. As we enter AAPI Heritage Month, it’s only natural to celebrate the history of brocade — which was once a secret, and is now appreciated across cultures. 

DAWANG has, of course, always been and always will be about celebrating the Asian community, bringing new light to the fashion of our families — and the fashion of the future.

So, what’s next for this ancient textile? We’re taking the classic silk fabric you know, and turning it into a medium for a personalized, individualized fabric with our new customized brocade — launching soon. Brocade has come in thousands of combinations of colors, symbols, and styles over time. Now, we’re making it new and entirely unique with our aesthetic and perspective — we’re bringin’ brocade back, baby. Think: your name in gold thread dancing with dragons on jewel-toned blue silk. Picture: forest green fabric with your zodiac sign cut into a tank or a jacket. Imagine a world where your clothes tell your story. The possibilities are endless. 

 A little preview of our new customized brocades coming soooooon!

1 comment

Feb 24, 2023

hi! i don’t know enough about fashion to know why this might be, but the silk cloud brocade design you all have on some of your pieces, like the lian slip dress, looks a lot like a design that ximonlee used in their ss19 collection:

was just wondering if this is just a coincidence or if you both got your fabric/design from the same place or if it’s something else? would love to know more!

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