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Dong Brocade - Nian Ji, Hunan Province

March 5, 2016

Sitting in front of the loom, dressed in her traditional costume, Nian Ji is beautiful and gentle. Her brocade is both smooth and delicate and her fame grew from her mastery of the most difficult yarns while she was still only a teen. The yarn she uses is very complicated to master in weaving because the needle-work is so tiny and very tight. When stroked it feels compact and the colours are precisely located. 



Type of weaving/embroidery  Dong Brocade
Artist name  Nian Ji
Location  Hunan Province, China
Method  Woven brocade
Maximum possible length  15 metres
Maximum possible width  0.42 metres
Composition  silk wool hemp cotton
Weight  mid to heavy weight
Patterns/Styles/Theme  geometric patterns
Colour range  multicolored - no limitations
Weaving information  100% Hand woven, double-sided fabric
Fabric feel  luxurious 3-D feel
Typical applications  clothing, scarves, blankets, throws
Fabric care  Easy-care except for silk. Hand wash only

Notes  Artist is flexible with design and colours and is willing to meet client requests.  Very large repertoire of patterns (over 100)

Today she not only teaches the traditional black and white Sujin, but also the colourful Caijin brocade. She also integrates her own ideas from her observations to expand her repertoire. Topics include figures, flowers, fish, insects, the stars and moon, landscapes, pavilions, almost everything from the world around.

When she is weaving there is no break, but a constant flow of foot pressure, hand-throwing the shuttle and weaving non-stop, all the while moving the bamboo sticks to alter the design. A casual observer cannot imagine how she remembers and programs every step by heart with no pattern to follow, but accurately and rapidly the beautiful fabric flows out.