The Idili Silk from Xinjiang
Location: Turpan Residence of Uygur Museum in South Park
China is the world’s earliest silk producer. Silkworm raising commenced here as early as five thousand years ago. The name “silk road” came about because of a trade route where silk produced in China was sold to Mid-Asia, Western Asia and Europe. Xinjiang was a major pass of silk road. Khotan, Xinjiang was home to Idili silk and also a major trade center in the central Asia.
Idili silk, or Zharan silk, is a specialty of Uygur and also the Uygur women’s favorite silk material. Khotan is one of the major places where the silk is produced. There the craftwork that features ancient dyeing method has been lasted for 2000 years. The process of this craftwork comprises yarn binding, multi-layer dying, yarn sorting, spinning and weaving. In the process of dyeing, color halo in an ascending sequence is produced since the dyeing liquid around the fringe of color patters seep. The process will create uneven strip patterns shaped like branch or waves on the silk material.
Idili silk is divided into black, red, yellow or multi-colored in terms of color scheme. There are also two major styles. One is colored black and white with golden, jewelry blue, emerald green and tangerine dots. Such silk is made in the area of Khotan and Lop. The other is florid and bright with colors of peach red, apricot yellow, grass green, blue, purple red. Such silk is made in the area of Kashgar and Shache. The silk material is 40 centimeters wide and color patterns are arranged in a manner that two or three adjacent square patterns in each block.
Being a conventional garment material, Idili can be used to make skirts, headband, handbag and other decorations. It brings people joyful and beautiful blessings.
The Idili silk hereby presented were collected from Khotan and Kashgar area of Xinjiang Uygur Autonomous Region in 1993.