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Home History and Culture Chinese Cloth Shoes
Chinese Cloth Shoes
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    Cloth Shoes
Chinese cloth shoes
(zhōng guó bù xié 中国布鞋) have a history of more than three thousand years. In Houma Shi (hóu mǎ shì 侯马市), Shanxi Province (shān xī shěng 山西省), there discovered the unearthed warrior in West Zhou Dynasty (xī zhōu 西周) wore the cloth shoes, which is the earliest handicraft cloth shoes. The cloth shoes were mainly handmade before the People's Republic of China was proclaimed, such as embroidery shoes. Chinese people are very fond of them for they are handmade, soft, and comfortable and ventilate. After 1949, the Chinese cloth shoes reached its peak period. There were many cloth shoes factories in our country which produced lots of cloth shoes.

Cloth shoes are elaborately made. The soles of the shoes are made up of scores of cloth layer and are completely handmade. During the course of making shoes, more than 20 meters of thread are used, and there are more than 1000 stitches on the layer. What’s more, craftsman spends two or three days on making cloth shoes. People feel comfortable when they wear cloth shoes, especially when people are walking or traveling.

Among the Chinese cloth shoes, perhaps the most famous ones are Xiuhua shoes (xiù huā xié 绣花鞋), namely embroidered shoes. Embroidered shoes are embodies of oriental aesthetics, with beautiful patterns in the shoe cover, toe and heel etc. The basic patterns of embroidered shoes are flowers, birds, animals, sceneries, and figures from the traditional Chinese dramas.

Xiu Hua XieThere are also some auspicious patterns such as lotus seeds (lián zǐ 莲子)(symbol of birth of a child), pomegranate (shí liǔ 石榴) (symbol of offspring multiplied), flying dragon and dancing phoenix (lóng fēi fèng wǔ 龙飞凤舞) (symbol of happy marriage).

However, nowadays, people in cities seldom wear cloth shoes. Most people wear sneakers or leather shoes. But cloth shoes is a part of Chinese culture with a long history, they are irreplaceable in Chinese culture together with Confucianism and Buddhism.
 

中国布鞋

Cloth Shoes      布鞋在我国有着3000多年的悠久历史。据考证,最早的手工布鞋是在山西侯马出土的西周武士跪像所穿的布鞋。建国之前的布鞋,主要都是传统的手工、绣花布鞋等。由于是手工纳底,具有柔软舒适、透气吸湿的特性,深受中国百姓喜爱。建国后,我国各地开办了很多布鞋厂,集中大量生产机制布鞋,这是中国布鞋的鼎盛时期。

      布鞋的制作讲究精工细作,一双布鞋鞋底一般用布二十几层,均用手工纳底,纳制需消耗鞋线20余米,针脚1000多针,耗时2至3天才能完成。布鞋穿上去柔软舒适,在人们日常走路、游历山川的时候会派上很大的用场。

      绣花鞋是中国布鞋中最著名的一种,它是东方人审美风尚的一种表现。绣花鞋鞋帮、鞋底、鞋垫、鞋跟上的图案都非常漂亮,体现了中国文化和民俗习惯,最常见的图案有花鸟虫鱼、风景、人物等等,这些大多来自中国传统戏曲。除此之外,还有一些象征吉祥的图案,比如莲子(象征生子)、石榴(象征多子多孙)、龙飞凤舞(象征婚姻幸福)。

      当然,现在在中国的城市里,大家都穿起了运动鞋、皮鞋,已经很少有人穿布鞋了,但它是一种文化,一种在中国有着几千年历史,并且和儒家思想,佛家道义一同在中国历史上有着不可替代作用的文化。

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