Hangzhou’s Silk Culture Weaves Itself into the Spring Festival

Hangzhou the ‘Capital of Silk’ is not only home to China’s largest silk museum and must-see silk town but it is now also resident to the Wensli Silk Culture Museum (万事利丝绸文化博物馆).

The museum, open from February 1 2015, is owned by the Wensli Group and is the only privately operated silk museum in Zhejiang province. Museums like Wensli Silk Culture enable Hangzhou’s glorious history of silk to continue to weave itself into today’s modern day society.  

Founded in 1975 by a fifth-generation of the renowned silk-making Shen family the Wensli Group, a cut above the rest, was formerly known as Hangzhou Jianqiao Silk Factory (杭州笕桥丝绸厂). Since its foundation it has won many titles such as 'China’s Well-known Trademark' which, awarded in 1999, was the first of its kind in China. After 40 years of unremitting effort the Wensli Group is now one of the best companies in the industry and is recognised, celebrated and praised throughout for its continued creativity in making silk products.

In the Wensli Silk Culture Museum over one thousand silk products from different dynasties are exhibited. On display are silk-embroideries for imperial members, officials and civilians from the Ming (1368-1644) and Qing Dynasties (1636-1912), which includes the dragon robes of Qianlong Emperor (1711 –1799) and Tongzhi Emperor (1856 –1875) as well as the first silk textbook made a hundred years ago in Lyon, France. The museum also showcases the clothes worn in the medal presentation ceremony of the 2008 Beijing Olympic Games.

One of the many highlights of visiting this museum is that visitors get to witness the fabulous technique of weaving clothes from peacock and gold threads. The peacock thread is made by winding the finer hairs of a peacock feather around silk (even the most skilled tailor is only capable of making a 2.5-meter-long peacock thread out of a peacock feather). The making of the gold line is also sophisticated and is formed by hammering a piece of gold into gold leaf, which is then wrapped around silk. The clothing made from these two threads is both precious and unique and a visit to the Wensli Silk Culture Museum is definitely worth weaving in and around town for.

Add: No.68, Tiancheng Road (天城路68号)