--- SEARCH ---
Learning Chinese
Learn to Cook Chinese Dishes
Exchange Rates
Hotel Service

Hot Links
China Development Gateway
Chinese Embassies

Laid-off Woman Weaves Happy Life Through Chinese Knots

Hu Lihua, an unemployed Chinese woman in her 40s, is taking her future into her own hands, overcoming redundancy to create a profitable traditional knot weaving business.


She made a hit at the recent Jinan tourism trade fair as she sold traditional Chinese decoration knots worth tens of thousands of yuan (thousands of US dollars) in three days from a booth of barely nine square meters.


Hand-tied Chinese knots are a typical local folk art in China, as every knot is woven from one single red thread and different knots are interlaced.


As "knot" in the Chinese language means reunion, marriage, or warmth, and the color red indicates happiness, the combination makes Chinese knots auspicious decorations.


After Beijing's successful bid for the 2008 Olympic Games, Chinese people have renewed and developed this traditional decoration. Chinese knots are frequently seen on the streets as girls' accessories, like earrings, bracelets and belts, or used for lucky charms hung on car dashboards or living room walls.


Hu's Chinese knots amazed tourism operators in Jinan, capital of Shandong Province in east China, during the fair and she was then invited by many local parks to showcase her skill and offered a free booth where she could sell her wares.


Speaking of her knotting career, Hu said she discovered weaving by accident. She started doing Chinese knots "for the sake of killing time as she got so depressed" after being laid off three years ago.


But later she turned her hobby into a profitable enterprise.


She borrowed some money from close friends and went up to Beijing to seek training. For a whole month, she immersed herself in the knotting world and slept for barely four hours every night.


On the day she came back to Jinan, she opened her workshop with help from former co-workers, composed of nothing but two chairs, one for her work and one for her, near a bus station.


She still clearly remembers how frustrated she got at first. The strong wind in the spring often blew the ready-made Chinese knots out of the chairs, breaking the precious decorative stones and beads.


The local women's federation lent a hand by organizing a handicraft exhibition of her work, where she expanded her fame and began to receive orders.


Things have been getting better ever since. With her business growing, she discovered the skill could not only support her family but may turn out to be something big.


"I would be more than happy to teach my skill to other laid-off women," she said. "Then they could make a difference."


She said she knew how anxiously this group of women aspired to learn new skills in order to find work to support the family.


In April 2002, a training class on Chinese knotting was initiated in Hu's local community with help from the local women’s federation and Hu volunteered to teach every evening.


Fully aware of how confusing weaving was for a beginner, she was very patient with the students' clumsy hands, sometimes repeating instructions some 20 or 30 times.


Zhou Jie, director of the Women's Federation Association in Huaiyin District, Jinan, said inquiry calls for training sessions from across the city had been received every day and women swarmed to Hu's class.


"This job is a good fit for the so-called 4050 group, composed of laid-off women between the age of 40 and 50," Zhou said. She estimated that some 300 students had graduated from Hu's class.


Hu expanded her workshop earlier this year. She boasts customers from all over the city now and her works have even been taken abroad by overseas students.


She is considering establishing and copyrighting her own brand.


"I am looking to the international market as Beijing's 2008 Olympic Games will bring more folk arts to the world, "she said.


(Xinhua News Agency October 8, 2003)

Ancient Coins Knitted into Huge Sword
Memorial Honors Legendary Woman
Traditional Chinese Knots Become Modern Fashion
Print This Page
Email This Page
About Us SiteMap Feedback
Copyright © China Internet Information Center. All Rights Reserved
E-mail: webmaster@china.org.cn Tel: 86-10-68326688