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Carrying on the legacy of making handmade cloth shoes

(chinadaily.com.cn) Updated: 2016-06-13 13:31 Comments

Carrying on the legacy of making handmade cloth shoes

Qiang Shuping at her workshop, June 10, 2016 [Photo/IC]

Qiang Shuping did not take a rest during the Dragon Boat Festival on June 10. She was busy working on customers' order for handmade cloth shoes.

Qiang, who learned the skill when she was 19 years old, has been making cloth shoes for 31 years in Baipu township, Rugao city, East China's Jiangsu province.

Many locals, from fresh-faced babies to grey-haired elderlies, are her customers.

In a small workshop less than 10 square meters, customers can see shoes hanging all over the wall. Qiang spends all her day in the workshop, stitching the shoes thread by thread.

It takes seven to eight hours to finish a handmade shoe, said Qiang, adding that most of the time is spent on stitching the sole.

Some people buy cloth shoes out of nostalgia and some for quality. Though making cloth shoes doesn't make much money, Qiang sticks to it as there are always people looking for her to make shoes and she herself is reluctant to give up the craft.

Handmade cloth shoes, originating from the Zhou Dynasty (1046-256 BC) more than 3,000 years ago, entered the national intangible cultural heritage list in 2009 for its high historic, cultural, economic and technical value.

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