From Hanfu Headbands to the Birth of the Horse-Face Skirt

From Hanfu Headbands to the Birth of the Horse-Face Skirt


Editor's note:

On this May 1st International Labor Day, we focus on a group of "new workers" - Hanfu designers, AI trainers, Home chefs, accompanying doctors, carbon emission managers... These new occupations that have emerged with new demands and trends are witnessing changes in the industry, improving our lives, and revealing the direction and vitality of economic and social development. From now on, Chao News plans to report on "New Career Apprenticeships". The reporter takes everyone closer to these new careers in the form of personal experience, showing that new workers are taking advantage of the new careers to realize the value of life.

Stillness and movement shuttle through Chen Jianmin’s daily work.

On one side, there is a quiet office. Chen Jianmin enlarges the canvas in the computer software, his left hand flies on the keyboard, and his right hand moves the mouse flexibly to draw lines, outlining the traditional decorative line drawing on the horse-faced skirt; the other On one side, there is a roaring production workshop, with a three- to four-meter-high rapier jacquard loom running 24 hours a day. With the continuous "intimate contact" between the rapier and the filament, the drawing of the horse-faced skirt he designed was made from a picture A picture is transformed into a luminous fabric.

From Hanfu Headbands to the Birth of the Horse-Face Skirt - Image 1

The "stillness and movement" that shuttles between Chen Jianmin's work. Photographed by reporter Chen Lei

31-year-old Chen Jianmin is a Hanfu designer at Haining Tianlong Cloth Co., Ltd. In recent years, with the new vitality of Chinese-style clothing such as horse-faced skirts, more and more people have entered the vertical field of Hanfu design, and Chen Jianmin is one of them. This is his 5th year of switching from fashion brand clothing design to Hanfu design. While wandering around in his hobby, he makes original brands, has more than 10,000 fans, and has welcomed more colleagues. People who were used to riding the tide were now ahead of the tide.

Daily life in Shangxiajian:

History buff + painter + creative artist + tailor = Hanfu designer?

“To do Hanfu design, there are too many things to understand. Understanding history is the key. You must understand the shape of Hanfu, the meaning of patterns, and clothing. You must also have strong basic drawing skills and innovation. Thinking and sensitivity to popular elements in the market. "At the end of April, in the office on the second floor of Tianlong Cloth Industry, Chen Jianmin was busy talking to reporters while drawing pattern line drawings.Learn about the basic "skills" of Hanfu designers.

Since the Spring Festival this year, the popularity of horse-faced skirts has made Xucun Town in Haining, Jiaxing, successfully break out of the circle. Among the companies that produce new Chinese-style clothing fabrics in Xucun, Tianlong Cloth Industry has been early in the horse-faced skirt market and has a one-stop industrial chain of design, production and sales. As a designer, Chen Jianmin’s daily life focuses on the design and perfection of Hanfu to pattern making.

Hanfu designed and produced by Chen Jianmin, photographed by reporter Chen Lei

“Currently, the design of horse-faced skirts is the main focus. From design to pattern making, details such as patterns, positions, colors, etc. must be constantly adjusted before mass production. "The drawing was paused, and when talking about the design process, Chen Jianmin took reporters around the company. The distribution of company sections is very simple. On the left side of the hall is the quiet exhibition hall and pattern making room, on the right side is the roaring production plant. Walking along the spiral staircase of the hall to the left side of the second floor is the office. Most of the time, Chen Jianmin spends his time on the first and second floors on the left, focusing on horse-face skirts. He designs sample clothes upstairs and makes clothes downstairs. Through repeated ups and downs, he turns each design draft into an exquisite horse-face dress. Face skirt.

Design is about inspiration, and clothing making is about technology. When the reporter challenged him to be a one-day designer, Chen Jianmin took the reporter to the pattern making table on the first floor and chose a "simple mode." "Usually we will take the fabrics produced to make horse-faced skirts to see the effect. Today we will start with a simple Hanfu headband." After entering the role of "tailor", he rolled out the blue jacquard fabric and started "making." "clothes" teaching.

Ironing, cutting, sewing... a hair tie that can be made in 5 minutes in Chen Jianmin's hands seems to slow down to 0.1 times when it comes to the reporter. If the cutting can be done without shaking hands, then the step on the sewing machine can be described as "thrilling and exciting". "The strength of your foot should be light, just press down a little. You can try to feel it." Master Chen warned, "Okay." As soon as the apprentice stepped on his foot, the sewing machine sounded the sound of needles being pressed rapidly, and a white line flashed on the moving fabric. "Be careful! Don't sew to the outside." Seeing that the seam was crooked, the master was a little anxious. "Okay." The apprentice wiped his sweat and adjusted the strength to complete the sewing. "Hmm..." Looking at the hairbands with different widths at both ends, Master Chen started sewing for the second time...

From Hanfu Headbands to the Birth of the Horse-Face Skirt - Image 3

The reporter tried to make a Hanfu headband

This is just a "simple model". In fact, the production of a horse-faced skirt is more complicated and requires multiple steps such as ironing pleats, hand sewing, and splicing waistbands. The most important thing is to control the size. But for Chen Jianmin, who has made perfect with practice, this is not difficult. The difficulty of design lies in the "perception" of beauty.

Transition from fast to slow:

It takes a month to make a horse-faced skirt, but a classic model can be sold for several years

How long does it take to make a Hanfu? "It takes one week to make something as simple as a new Chinese-style shirt, and one month to make a horse-faced skirt as complicated as gold woven craftsmanship." Chen Jianmin said.

The May Day holiday is coming, but Chen Jianmin’s work has not changed because of the holiday. "Most orders have to be placed 1-3 months in advance." Chen Jianmin explained that from fast to slow, this is the difference he feels from fashion brand clothing to Hanfu design. Fashion brand clothing changes with the market and changes quickly. In order to maintain market competitiveness, new products sometimes need to be developed a year in advance. Hanfu has its own "time zone". Although the production cycle is long, a classic style can be sold for several years. Generally, it can be designed three months in advance.

From Hanfu Headbands to the Birth of the Horse-Face Skirt - Image 4

Photo by reporter Chen Lei of Chen Jianmin at work

In terms of clothing design, Hanfu also has certain rules. For example, in the hot summer, light colors and styles are generally used. The patterns can be simpler, while in winter, they are more popular. Mainly dark colors with relatively complex patterns.

What is the difficulty in designing Hanfu? In Chen Jianmin's view, in fact, each link has difficulties. Generally speaking, it is a "feeling" judgment of beauty., specifically, it is the design of the pattern and the control of the position. Take horse-faced skirts as an example. Compared with fashions with various styles, horse-faced skirts have a relatively fixed shape, and innovations in them are reflected in patterns.

From Hanfu Headbands to the Birth of the Horse-Face Skirt - Image 5

Jacquard machine weaves horse-faced skirt fabric. Photo by reporter Chen Lei

In order to not only show the connotation of traditional culture, but also combine the aesthetics of young people with new ideas, Chen Jianmin often visits museums and browses the museum website, recording and collecting parts Find new inspiration from beautiful traditional patterns. "For the design of this dragon, we will look for some traditional dragons as references and then incorporate modern painting techniques." Chen Jianmin said, pointing to the auspicious dragon pattern on a horse-faced skirt in the exhibition hall. In the design process, it is common to draw, discard, call out and make changes. He and another assistant will draw 2-3 patterns every day, but they can only design about 30 works in a quarter. There are horse-face skirts, tops, bags, etc.

“Some of them look like ‘commercial goods’ at first glance. If they are not special enough, we will throw them away.” Chen Jianmin and his assistant are currently making designs that imitate Song brocade and traditional shading. Faced with hundreds of them collected in the computer, Zhang Jianmin opened and closed the pattern picture repeatedly, quickly selecting the patterns that would make people's eyes shine. After the design drawing is completed, the presentation effect needs to be checked. The fabric has to go through the process from production on the machine to proofing. Since the pattern (the template that transfers the pattern from the drawing to the fabric) is fixed before it is put on the machine, there are fine adjustments every time. , Chen Jianmin had to readjust the flower budget, "The whole process is quite troublesome."

Thoughts on "outdated" and popular:

The horse-faced skirt may be outdated, but the national style is strong Blowing

On social platforms, Chen Jianmin also has another identity - a blogger with more than 10,000 fans. In the account of "Hanjia Furniture" at Station B, Chen Jianmin occasionally shares the introductory knowledge of horse-face skirts, the production steps for beginners, and the occasional creative designs, from rabbit-style horse noodles, luminous horse noodles to leather skirts. The unique design of the horse face has attracted a group of Hanfu enthusiasts.

From Hanfu Headbands to the Birth of the Horse-Face Skirt - Image 6

Chen Jianmin shares his daily design life. Source: "Hanjia Furniture" account

This is the starting point for Chen Jianmin to change his career. His hobby is an important reason for his change of career. "I prefer traditional culture. I happened to stay at home during the epidemic, so I thought about trying Hanfu design." Chen Jianmin recalled that when he first got involved in this industry, he mainly shot videos and didn't understand Hanfu. What kind of paintings came to mind? What, the design style is relatively free.

An accidental attempt led to a new employment direction. Chen Jianmin quit his job in Hangzhou and returned to his hometown of Haining, where he joined Tianlong Cloth Industry. He happened to witness the process of Hanfu from a niche field to the masses. Among them, the most intuitive change he felt was the price. "When I first came into contact with it, the price of better Hanfu was 700 to 800 yuan. Lolita skirts from the same period are still priced on the high side. But with the popularity of Hanfu, the price is also becoming more affordable. Now the average price of a set is 40 to 500 yuan. One hundred yuan." Chen Jianmin said that the price is slowly decreasing, but the quality of Hanfu is improving. "Like this row of horse-faced skirts, the fabrics and craftsmanship have been upgraded. You can clearly feel that the fabric of the skirt at the back is a little stiffer." /p>

The "national style" brings new career directions and new development opportunities for enterprises. In the past few years, most of Tianlong Cloth's orders were in cooperation with Hanfu brands. Since last year, the company has launched its own original brand "Huacai Yaji", starting the road to branding.

Today, Chen Jianmin is still looking for new expressions of traditional culture. In the growth path he and the company share, we can see the team’s confidence in the prevalence of Chinese culture. "The national style will become more and more popular. You can say that horse-faced skirts may be outdated in two years, but the national style culture will get better and better. By then, the popular ones may be tops or bags, but they will not escape from the national style. Scope." In Chen Jianmin, who has completed the transformation from a Hanfu enthusiast to a communicator, the reporter saw confidence in the future of Guochao. This is not only economic confidence, but also cultural confidence.

Reporter Chen Lei