Handmade Diary (2)

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Rainy Days

Oiled-paper umbrella and coir raincoat in Sichuan, China




In China, paper is used everyday and everywhere, that includes umbrella making.

A good oiled-paper umbrella needs 74 processes to complete and required 6 – 10 craftsmen more than 1 week of hard work. although this is basically paper coated with tree oil glued on a bamboo-made framework, the umbrellas can withstand strong gale and heavy rain. they are able to last more than 10 years if taken good care of.

The umbrellas produced in Fenshui, China since 1400 years ago were sent to the royal court as gift to the Chinese emperor. Nowadays, this once prosperous hand-made industry is transferring into an add-in to local tourism, produce souvenirs for travelers, as something to remember the lifestyle a long time ago.