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Li Brocade

CGTN | Updated: 2020-11-20

The Li people mainly live off the southern coast of China, in Hainan. The Li Brocade is a traditional textile included on UNESCO's Intangible Cultural Heritage and it could be on the verge of gaining popular recognition. 

The Li people have made a unique form of brocade for several thousand years, including traditional hand-made clothing and other items from cotton, linen and natural fibers.

Experts say the skills involved in the art form have been key in the history of China's textile industry.

In October 2009, UNESCO officially included Li Brocade on its intangible cultural heritage list, declaring it in urgent need of protection.

And today, several prominent Li Brocade craftspeople are spinning, weaving and embroidering it at an institute dedicated to the craft in the city of Dongfang, Hainan Province.

Widely regarded as the finest example of Hainan Li brocade is the "dragon quilt", the most difficult and technically advanced example of the craftsmanship.

The dye used in Li dragon quilt mostly comes from wild or domestic plants, sometimes from mountainous areas, and these can be difficult to fade.

But whether a dragon quilt of ancient times or textiles used in daily life, the ancient art-form reflects the skills and wisdom of the Li people.

And as Hainan's free trade port develops, more and more people are likely to come into contact, and hopefully, embrace the unique ethnic customs and traditions of the Li. 



Li brocade weaves its way to global fame

UNESCO listed the brocade in its first endangered cultural heritage group in 2009. At the time there were only five m...