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Yishui Cloth Tiger Highlights Chinese Traditional Craft

LINYI, China

LINYI, China, Mar. 19, 2024 /Xinhua-AsiaNet/–

The cloth tiger is a traditional craft deeply ingrained in Chinese folk culture since ancient times. Not only being cherished as a childhood toy, it also serves as an indoor decoration, a thoughtful gift, and a prized collectible. With its diverse varieties and widespread popularity, the cloth tiger embodies a rustic charm and folk artistry.

In Shandong Province, cloth tigers predominantly feature red and yellow hues, symbolizing joy and auspiciousness in northern Chinese culture. However, the Yishui cloth tiger breaks from tradition, incorporating a variety of colors such as black, cyan, white, floral patterns, and blue calico. The bold contrasts and vibrant tones bring the cloth tiger to life with distinct and vivid imagery.

Crafted in the rural areas of Yishui, cloth tigers often utilize leftover fabric scraps, resulting in bright and convenient materials. Their exaggerated forms prioritize emotional expression over realism, delighting and entertaining both creators and viewers alike. Reflecting the consciousness of farmers and the folk cultural mentality, these tigers serve as decorative items and symbols of celebration. Notably, their features, from the “王” character symbolizing the king of beasts to their round eyes, upright ears, curved tails, and chubby appearance, evoke both the strength of a tiger and the innocence of a cat.

Yishui’s folk hand embroidery craftsmanship, with cloth tigers as its flagship product, boasts a century-long history. Shielded from external influences, this craft has developed a distinct local flavor characterized by concise composition, vivid color schemes, meticulous craftsmanship, and delicate stitching. Its simplicity, symmetry, exaggeration, and decorative flair have earned it widespread admiration.