Textiles in China

  • Dieter Kuhn
Reference work entry
DOI: https://doi.org/10.1007/978-1-4020-4425-0_8885

A textile is here understood as a woven fabric made from a wide range of raw materials. Some of these were silk, cotton, wool, and the bast fibers ramie (Boehmeria nivea L.), hemp (Cannabis sativa L.), and the bean‐ or vine‐creeper (Pueraria thunbergiana), which possessed the greatest economic and cultural importance in pre‐Mongol (prior to AD 1279) China. The development of textiles is described here on the basis of archaeological evidence and from the view of its cultural importance.

The origin of weaving can be traced back to basketry and matting techniques from the Neolithic. Impressions on ceramic sherds and fragments from the archaeological sites of Banpocun near Xi'an in Shaanxi and from Hemudu in Yuyao county in Zhejiang prove that they existed in China as early as the fifth millennium BCE. The earliest finds of textiles are from southeast China. There is a complicated fragment of fabric, made of Pueraria thunbergiana, found at Caoxieshan in Jiangsu province and dated to the...

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© Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg New York 2008

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  • Dieter Kuhn

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