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Clothes and Garments on the past

>> Monday, 27 August 2012



Another long-national festive break has came around and just ended yesterday, but this time around, I decided not to bring home any sewing machines or kits, or initiated any needlework or embroidering projects, but to borrow another Chinese Classic reading from the state library.


A light-reading of over 400 pages can fill time in case there are spare and unproductive time in between of visiting or being visited by families' friends and relatives. A spare time when having to surrender some good movies and television programs should there only my request to watch but not from the rest. A normal struggle when everbody is home for a long festival break.

Outlaws of the Marsh, is the given title and an aged of 600 years old classic reading written during the Ming Dynasty. Many would ask, to understand why should I engaged in such reading. There are lots of reading out there and why the classic and the chinese?

The simplest anwer will be - the contents are highly cultured! There are classic poems, loads of old or wise of sage says and quotes, and there also pages of classical drawings in them. There's more, such as full descriptions of how different rank of people in the society should wear, and the the different types of fabric each would use. I have extracted some samples as below:

Clothing for a new monk.
That night, clothing,expense money and silks were prepared. Lu Da would need special shoes, clothing hat, cape and kneeling cushion


An arm instructor of Imperial guards wore:
The gentelmen wore a black muslin cap with its two corners gathered together; a pair of interlinked circlets of white jade held the knot of the hair at the back of his head. He was dressed in green officer's robe of flowered silk, bound at the waist by a girdle made of double strip of beavers..

A messanger wore:
He was wearing a broad-brimmed white felt hat and a silken gown of dark green, with leggings and knee guard and sandals of hemp...

Wu song was wearing
A new red silk robe and a broad-brimmed hat of white felt..


A burial garments
A kind gentlemen has given me some material for burial garments,a bolt of white brocade, a bolt of blue silk, a bolt of white silk gauze, and 10 ouces of good silk floss.
And poems

Beneath a red sun that burns like fire
Half scorched in the fields is the grain
Poor Peasant hearts with worry are scalded
While the rich theselves idly fan!

and classic quotoes

A spark from the soul is worth more than a thousand pieces of gold
When fire licks your clothes you beat it out, when there's hornet in your tunic open it quickly
When the fence is strong, no dog gets in
The winds and clouds int he sky are unfanthomable. A man's luck changes in an instant?

Pretty interesting? I am a good speed-reader, but when comes to a classic like this, I would read like a tortoise! I suggest everybody should give a try.


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Ros Ros
Passionate about sewing, embroidery and crafts, love to read and write, to give and receive, and to self-nurture. 
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