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Traditional handwoven cloth dates back more than 600 years in Chongming County and the new Handwoven Cloth Museum aims to preserve and promote it.
The museum in Sanmin Culture Village features exhibits and live demonstrations of the old hand-weaving process and evolution of modern weaving. The 2,000-square-meter space opened on June 9.
Visitors can see how cotton is ginned, prepared, spun into yarn on a spinning wheel and turned into cloth on a loom.
Chongming handwoven was very popular early last century. At that time the island's population was around 600,000, and it had 100,000 looms, producing 2.5 million bolts of handwoven cloth annually. That's enough to circle the planet two and a half times.
With the introduction of mechanized, looms, assembly lines and cheaper cloth, fewer people made their own textiles and the industry died on the island. The skills died as well.
Sanmin Culture Village is now trying to revive the popularity of handmade fabric, teach people to make it and turn it into a profitable business.
In the old days, handwoven cloth was primarily made into clothing, but today it has many uses. The a 500-square-meter space in the museum exhibits many products made with handmade textiles, including fashion, furnishings, and bedding.
The museum contains 56 exhibition halls containing handcrafted roof tiles, carved wood for construction and hand-carved window lattices and doors.