We took a trip to ZhouCheng yesterday, and visited a textile place and practiced out sewing. We were supposed to stitch a butterfly based on the lines that were mrked for us, and once we finished, we were supposed to get it ready for the tie-dye process. The women who helped and taught us were of Bai minority, and wore traditional clothing. Though we didn't dye the cloth ourselves, I saw part of the process- they were soaked in a cauldron of blue dye. We took our cloths back home, but I have yet to see the finished product, as it's still drying. While the cloth was being dyed for us, I walked around examining other fabrocs. Most of them were while patterns on indigo cloth, but I also noticed several red and green cloths. Other colors were more scarce. There was an enormous vat of natural dye (indigo) and a smaller cauldron of chemical dye (also indigo). There are probably other colors, but I didn't see them. The natural coloring took longer to dye, so sadly, we used the chemical dye for our projects. I thought this was one of the most engrossing activities, as it was hands on. We didn't only watch others, we tried ourselves, though I have to admit, our butterfly was far less complex to sew than the vast cloths with detailed, repeating patterns. I enjoyed actually learning with guidance from the professionals, instead of merely reading about it or stopping by quickly to inspect what they were doing. Cheers to the person who arranged this trip!
In addition, we stopped by an embroidery shop, but it was machine embroidery, not done by hand. As a result, the flowers did not look alive, and when you saw it, it was 'too perfect', every flower the same. However, viewing the multicolored threads the machine was using provided a chance for cool pictures.
Picture 1: Some dyed scarves
Picture 2: Bai women working on textiles
Picture 3: Vat of chemical indigo dye