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Published: 15 August 2020

By Andy Ross

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Making a robe in the Qing Dynasty

During the Qing Dynasty, the last of the imperial dynasties in China, intricately embroidered robes were worn by the rulers. 

In the Victoria and Albert Museum collection is an example of a robe under construction. Three silk lengths were sewn together with two more long pieces and a flap for a side-festening. These formed a seam right down the middle of the robe. The cloth was then embroidered and this shaped the body and upper sleeves of the garment as well as creating the cutting line for the tailoring that took place in the workshop at the palace. It is a fascinating process and must have been painstaking in its execution. The image on this page is of the whole piece, and comes courtesy (and copyright) of The Victoria and Albert Museum. There are more images via this link from the V&A.

For more information about Chinese robes, have a look at this guide to collecting from the auction house, Christies.