Shanghai's first textile museum has opened at Donghua University.
Called China's Textile History Museum, the 200-square-meter gallery showcases Chinese fabrics and replicas of machines used in the nation's textile industry in ancient times.
Then, as well as now, Chinese silk has been synonymous with beauty and elegance.
"China has a splendid history of weaving techniques and its textiles have been sold every-where in the world," said Du Wenyi, the museum curator and a professor at Donghua.
The museum, with more than 250 items on display, opened its doors on Sunday, when Donghua celebrated its 50th anniversary.
The items on show include replicas that trace as far back as the Warring States Period (Bc475-BC221).
Actual textile artifacts are also displayed, such as embroidery, satin brocade, velvet, silk and linen, all in different patterns from different eras in Chinese history.
The displays have explanations in Chinese and English.
"Most of the unearthed pieces were found in Xinjiang, Tibet and some inland areas along the Yellow River, where Chinese civilization was centered in ancient times," Du said. "So hardly anyone living in coastal areas was aware of these traditional textiles."
Also on display are traditional clothing, including huge robes and jackets, and capes, aprons, small bags, ribbons and tapestries.
Tie-dyed and wax-painted material produced by Chinese ethnic minorities are also show-cased. The museum provides an informative overview of Chinese textiles, Du said.
(Eastday.com October 30, 2001)