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Preserving the ancient craft of cloth shoes

(chinadaily.com.cn) Updated: 2016-06-13 11:44 Comments

Preserving the ancient craft of cloth shoes

The sole of a qian ceng di (shoes with a thousand layers) is made of 30 layers of cloth. [Photo/IC]

Qiang Shuping was so busy making cloth shoes for clients who ordered them that she didn't even rest during the Dragon Boat Festival holiday. The woman from Baipu county, Rugao city, Jiangsu province, has been making shoes since she was 19 years old, and this year marks her 31st year making cloth shoes.

She spends the entire day in her tiny studio, which measures less than 10 square meters altogether, crammed with cloth shoes in various stages of completion.

Nowadays, many stores make cloth shoes using machines, but Qiang sticks to the technique of making shoes entirely by hand. She says the shoes made by machine are not the same quality as handmade ones. The handmade cloth shoes are more durable, comfortable, softer, and absorb sweat better.

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