ClothingToday, many people dress in China similarly to the way we do in theU.S.However, when we think of Chinese clothing, we think of thetraditional clothing that they began wearing centuries ago.
Traditional ClothingPeople in China generally wore tunics (like long t-shirts). Women worelong tunics down to the ground, with belts, and men wore shorter onesto their knees.In the winter when it was cold, people wore padded jackets over theirtunics, and sometimes pants under them.
Peasant ClothingClothing also varied depending on a person’s wealth.In early China, peasant people made their clothes of cotton.Cotton was warm, soft, strong, and cheap. You could make it thinfor summer, or you could make thick padded clothes out of it thatwere warm for winter.
Wealthier DressWealthier people wore brighter colors.The Chinese associate certain colors with specific seasons.Green = spring, red = summer, white = autumn and black = winter.
SilkWealthy people also wore silk. Silk is made from the cocoons ofsilkworms.Have you ever seen a butterfly cocoon? It is similar type of cocoon.It takes many cocoons from silkworms to be unwound and turned intolong threads like spider webs. They are then spun together to makethem thicker, and woven together to make silk.
Foot bindingThere is a very old Chinese fashion that is no longer in practice.A long time ago, women in the emperors court used to bind theirfeet to make them small.It was thought that to be beautiful, women needed little tinyfeet, only about three inches long. They did this by wrapping tightbandages around the feet of young girls, about five or six yearsold.The bandages were so tight they would keep the girls’ toes fromgrowing. Women with bound feet couldn’t walk very quickly and itmade them seem more dainty.