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Recovering a historical accessory

Ancient craft back in demand as consumers opt for traditional protection from the rain, Wang Qian reports.

By Wang Qian | China Daily | Updated: 2023-03-18 09:21

[Photo provided to China Daily]

Every year, about 1,500 paper umbrellas are made by hand at Liu's studio, his grandfather's former residence, which sits in a bamboo forest in Xiwu village, in Hangzhou. The craftspeople follow the same processes as their predecessors did centuries before.

They cut the tortoise-shell bamboo, at about 6 years old, in winter, when the plant goes dormant and stops growing. With water evaporating from the stem, it becomes denser and can then be cut into umbrella ribs and stretchers for a year's storage, according to Liu.

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