Dear readers, this post is in progress, and is a repository of links and vocabulary for finding affordable fabrics and calligraphy supplies from China, similar to the Japanese Goods Stores post. Please expect it to be fully complete in a month or so, it will slowly grow from today forward.
This is one of the main online shopping malls in China. Some people have managed to ship directly, but for me, somehow my phone number was used by another for account abuse, so I use a shipping proxy.
This is a proxy service for Chinese shopping, it’s also very nice because the search is in Chinese, so you can ask for what you want precisely.
This is probably the most popular proxy service, they have a very sophisticated site. I have used them and been satisfied.
These are stores I have personally purchased from.
This is a Hong Kong Fabric store that sells high quality chemical fiber kinran.
This is an etsy store that sells some of the softest, highest quality hemp I’ve ever purchased.
This is an aliexpress store that sells digitally printed ramie. The ramie is soft and light, good for summer. The printing was slightly off grain but still very lovely and in period for song dynasty China.
New Art Silk
This is a silk seller on taobao that I have ordered rinzu from.
These are stores that I have not purchased from but look very promising.
This taobao store sells kimono bolts.
Fine ramie/linen store.
Silk broker that sells a lot of traditional silks.
Hemp: 大麻, 汉麻
“Real” Silk: 真绡
Bast fibers in particular are hard to distinguish, often something listed as 汉麻 will turn out to be ramie and not hemp. I think there’s a difficulty because 大麻 is a restricted word on taobao and aliexpress, so 汉麻 is often used to “get around” this restriction. Sometimes you will see 汉麻in the title and 苎麻 in the material section.
A lot of chemical fibers get listed under “silk” so please be careful if you are interested in mulberry silk.
These are terms that seem to produce fruitful results in search engines, not necessarily the pinnacle of good grammar or spelling.
Gauze: 纱布,丝(for silk, see below)
Habotai: 平絹 (flat silk), 真丝电力纺 (electric spun silk tabby)
Silk Gauze: 真丝绡, 真绡纱
Silk Jacquard: 提花真绡
Silk Jacquard Gauze: 提花真丝绡, 提花真绡纱
Silk Brocade: 锦缎真绡
Modern Chinese terms for Ancient Weaves
|Han qi||汉绮||tabby patterned with warp floats|
|jialuo||假罗||open tabby (‘mock leno’)|
|jin||锦||polychrome compound warp-faced tabby or twill|
|qi||绮||tabby patterned with twill|
|qirong jin, |
|jin patterned with pile warp|
|qiwen juan||畦纹绢||warp rep|
I cannot use taobao itself, because my phone number is somehow tied to someone else’s account abuse, so I use a proxy that allows chinese searches.
Jacquard Gauze Silk
Plain White Cloth (Gives interesting results)