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Reviving a dyeing tradition in Yunnan

By XU LIN/LI YINGQING | China Daily | Updated: 2019-01-25 07:48
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Zhang, 35, comes back to her hometown to revive the ancient tie-dye technique. [Photo provided to China Daily]

In a century-old courtyard, several tourists are learning how to tie-dye a piece of white cloth.

As tourism takes hold in the Dali Bai autonomous prefecture, in Yunnan province, more visitors are seeking such experiences.

The workshop is conducted by the Lanxu Eco-Culture Development Center in Zhoucheng village, inhabited by the Bai ethnic group. It aims to promote the culture of the Bai people and showcase their sustainable lifestyles.

The tie-dyes of the Bai ethnic group use hand-weaved white cloth and colors extracted from plants. People use needle and thread to make different folds in a cloth and put it into a dye vat several times until the color becomes darker. Common patterns are geometric shapes and flowers. It was listed as a national intangible cultural heritage in 2006.

"Tie-dyeing is more than craftsmanship. It's a lifestyle that we want to pass on to others. It's about the harmony between the Bai people and nature," says Zhang Hanmin, 35, who founded the center in 2014

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