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Du Jinsheng is not only a silk factory, but also the name of the brand founder. Du was born in a small village near the West Lake in 1898. During his teenage years, the country set up many factories during a wave of modernization, which had an effect on Du.While learning about textiles in college, Du conceived the idea of a "brocade salvation." He purchased a few machines and employed a couple of workers, erecting the Du Jinsheng Silk Mill in 1922.
Enchanted by the picturesque scenery of West Lake, Du took the lake as subject matter for his brocade work. His delicate spinning techniques and chic patterns quickly gained fame around the city. However, the boom didn't last long. The War of Resistance Against Japanese Aggression (1937-1945) broke out, and Hangzhou was occupied by the Japanese. Du would not submit to the invaders and they burned his mill. Du died from a cerebral hemorrhage in 1943.
Though the founder had passed away, his spinning technique remained. Under his descendants, the factory was rejuvenated after the war and continues to thrive. Today Du Jinsheng brocade typifies the high-quality textiles of Hangzhou. In 1997, the Du Jinsheng Museum opened beside the factory. As the first brocade museum in China, it boasts thousands of collections, including old brocade items and machines, historic pictures and representative works of Du.