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Published: 26 June 2021

By Andy Ross

Discovering Textiles - Kesi from China

The technique of weaving silk to make images in the cloth is slow and painstaking, taking decades to master. 

Kesi, the craft of weaving silks as tapestries is more than a thousand years old. It uses different coloured silks to create pieces of extraordinary detail and beauty and some of the earliest textiles still extant come from this tradition, once reserved for royalty. These older pieces were rolled onto scrolls to tell a story or used as wallhangings. The craft produces pieces which are light, and delicate with clear, sharp images, and they are reversible.

Read more about Kesi here and about a family who continue to make the silk weavings here. The picture above, courtesy of Qu Zhi, shows the weaving of one of the textiles in Wang Jianjiang’s workshop in Suzhou, Jiangsu Province