Hanfu is a commonly used term for the ancient styles of dress traditionally worn by the Han folks in ancient China. From early times, the word "hanfu" has been coined by Chinese Internet surfers to broadly define the ancient Chinese clothing favored by early Han Chinese people. By popular use, the term has come to denote any type of traditional clothing, irrespective of gender and age. In this article, we will discuss the meaning and usage of the term "hanfei", to help make clear its diverse uses in the Chinese world. We will examine its etymology and its various contexts in ancient China and in present day China.
The origin of the term can be traced as early as the second century BC in Ancient Chinese writings. It refers to the weaving of wool, silk and cotton materials, especially on silk quilts. The weaving techniques gradually evolved until early Han Dynasty (HT), which is the period during which the most important innovation in Chinese clothing occurred. The most important piece of innovation was the process of knotting and weaving the fabric.
The Ancient Chinese Clothing mainly consisted of garments tied by strings or tightly knotted cords, which were hung by Chinese women from head to foot. They wore clothes made of polyester woven from silk, with steel-capped ribbons in golden, blue, white and black colors. The clothes were decorated using fur, beads, precious stones and calla lilies. Women wore silk girdles, which are found as a single piece of fabric attached to the waist.
The most common clothing among the Chinese population at present is the blouse, long gown and skirt. Chinese people often prefer to wear trousers along with their clothes instead of wearing skirts. The pants are knee-length and quite comfortable to wear. During the last few decades of the Great Mongolian Dynasty, which was a brief rulership in China, the Chinese clothes underwent some serious modifications. The Commoners liked to wear long sleeved shirts and breeches, which were called "liu zhen", ("breeches"), in ancient times.
The Common people's clothes during that period were mostly made of wool, and silk was used rarely. Wearing silk fabric was a sign of affluence. It also signified rank and social position in China. Silk clothing has had some interesting development over the years. The modern silk production in China started during the 19th century, when Japan started using silk and cotton fabric for making clothing. The early silk manufacturing units in China were operated by the rural people.
The popularity of silk clothing began to wane slowly with the passage of time. But they gained a backseat during the World War II, when Chinese soldiers wore them. A number of Hollywood films have utilized Chinese soldiers' clothing in very special scenes. This has led to a revival of interest in this traditional clothing.
Chinese clothing has undergone quite a few changes in the past few decades. Modern Chinese clothing is no longer made of very fine, delicate fabrics. They are made of durable cotton, polyester, and other synthetic fibers. They are available in different shades and styles. These changes have led to the emergence of a new trend in Chinese clothing: the jeans and trousers.
They are a convenient alternative for those who do not want to wear heavy clothing. They are also a popular option for tourists, as they are not only practical, but comfortable as well. They are made from the finest materials, and they can be washed numerous times. Most of them are dyed to make them look rich and colorful. Today's Chinese tourists can look stylish and oriental without having to travel abroad, thanks to a thriving Chinese clothing industry.