Liu Dai’e Hunan, China

Liu Dai’e is of Tujia ethnicity. She is a successor of national intangible cultural heritage and a master of Chinese brocade art. Since she was 11-years-old, she has learned brocade techniques from her grandmother, Peng Mei.

Over the past 45 years, she mastered more than 100 types of traditional brocade patterns and techniques. In 2010, she founded the Tujia Brocade Technique School in Laoche Village, Longshan Town. In 2011, the school was named by the Ministry of Culture as a “National Productive Demonstration Base of Intangible Cultural Heritage.”

Testimonial: inherited culture, and local art.



Characteristics of the technique


Each unit pattern on one piece of Tujia brocade takes three repetitions on three layers of warp faces. Both plain and twill textures are available. The plain texture technique is the basis of twill. We can tell the maker’s skillfulness from the effect of the twill texture.

Plain texture is mostly used for a portrait or scenery with a simple layout. A pair of skillful hands may finish it within one day. The price is lower because the technique is less complex. Twill is mainly used for traditional patterns with complicated shapes and colors, which requires exquisite craftsmanship and usually takes at least two weeks to make.


Implications of Tujia brocade patterns


For example: Tujia brocade Forty-eight Hooks. There are four groups of hooks, and in each group, the two hooks reflect each other, standing for heaven / earth, gods, family, and bride / groom. It is a wish for the bride and groom to live a long and happy life together. Tujia people weave the blessings for a girl’s whole life into the brocade and pass it on through generations. It also shows Tujia spirit of helping and taking care of each other.


Expectation for carrying forward this heritage


Let’s carry on Tujia brocade techniques and show this art to the whole country and the whole world.


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