As a Chinese traditional hand-made craftwork, carpet weaving is of the long histories.
Xin Jiang Province is one of the major places where the Chinese carpets originated. The climate there is rigidly cold and people live in nomadic life. This created a huge demand of the wool fabric products to keep them warm or even make their life more beautiful. The carpet was firstly structured as plain back knitted, later on the coarse weft tufted fabric texture and much thicker tufted carpet appeared.
The Chinese carpet industry was already at quite high and mature level 2000 years ago. In the "Record of Western Countries by Xuan Zang of the Tang Dynasty", Xuan Zang had a vivid description of the carpet prosperity when it was even more than 1000 years ago. With the conquest of the Hun Nation by the Great Han Emperor, the "Silk Road" was established and a lot of the silk carpets, teas, pigments and china products were exported to Europe and Western Asia areas and vice versa. People there then had a chance to understand the Persian carpets as well. Even in today's Persian carpets, there are still quite a lot of designs which are similar to Chinese designs but with Middle East color and styles. Since then, there has been a lot of communications and exchanges between those 2 ancient nations and eventually the art of the carpet weaving has reached its climax.
17th and 18th centuries was a period when the art of the carpet weaving finally reached its climax. The finest carpets were produced and consumed in the palaces and temples. Excellent examples of traditional Chinese carpets are represented in the permanent collections of major Western museums and galleries including the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York, the Textile Museum in Washington D.C., and the Victoria and Albert Museum in London where they are the object of dedicated research by scholars.
In the 20 th century, however, modern machine spun cotton and wool gradually came to replace hand-spun yarns, and traditional natural dyes were superseded by artificial chemical dyes.
With the opening up and reform policy, China's economy has been developing rapidly and people are becoming more and more rich. In this circumstance, there are a lot of people in large cities or Southern part of China who are interested in ancient style decorations and this gives a rise to the further development of carpet. Most places therefore become the center of hand-made carpets, among which Nan Yang, Xing Jiang and Tibet are the typical examples.
Even until the middle 80s of the 20 th century, most of the carpets are for export only and the Chinese people would think it was too far away for them to enjoy. But since then, people start to live a rich and stable life and are getting more and more familiar with this ancient artwork.Nowadays, many families start to regard this luxurious carpet as the symbol of high cultural taste.
The Silk Road includes three routes. The main route starts from Chang'an (now Xi'an) in the east, through Zhangye, Dunhuang, Loulan, Taklimakan Desert, Mali, Teheran, Baghdad, to Cairo or Istanbul. The second route, through Anxi, Xinjiang, Alamutu, Jumbul, to Caspian Sea. The third route: along the Hexi Corridor, through Islamabad, to New Delhi of India. The major tourist area along the Silk Road include Xi'an, Lanzhou, Dunhuang, Turpan (Tulufan) or Hami, Urumqi, Etc. The important tourist spots include Loulan Ruins, Mogao Grottoes, Majishan Grottoes, and culture and custom of the minorities in the Western Regions.
|Silk Road Routine|
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