Hangzhou trusts in long silk tradition for gifts

By Wang Ying in Hangzhou ( China Daily ) Updated: 2016-09-06 08:03:22

Hangzhou trusts in long silk tradition for gifts

Gift packages with silk shawls and handbags were presented to female leaders and first ladies attending the G20 Summit in Hangzhou on Sunday and Monday. Provided By Zhejiang Cathaya International Co

Hangzhou has trusted in its nearly 5,000 year history with silk for its decorations at the G20 Summit. From finishing touches on meeting rooms to bedding, night gowns, invitation letters and banquet menus, the fabric has been a recurrent theme and important element in the event.

Female leaders and first ladies attending the summit were presented a gift package with silk scarves, shawls or handbags - even the gift box itself was made of silk.

Tu Hongyan, chairwoman of WensliGroup, one of the companies that helped prepare this summit's gifts, headed a team of 30 top designers and more than 100 technical craftsmen for the task.

Wensli prepared two patterns of silk scarves for the G20 Summit, Tu said, and each pattern was produced in two forms: one of pure silk and the other an equal mixture of silk and cashmere.

Li Minxia, a silk designer from Wensli Group, said the gifts will be in pairs, such as two scarves, or a scarf along with a silk handbag, and each gift package will be unique.

Wang Pengcheng, deputy general manager of brand operation center at Zhejiang Cathaya International Co, said Cathaya prepared 16 packages of silk gifts for female guests at the G20 Summit.

According to Wang, their silk items made specifically for the summit are a double-tassel shawl, a pink Ru-Yi pattern shawl, a pink handbag, a black handbag and two types of purple handbags. All of the items will be in Chinese style.

The black silk handbag will be paired with a silk product from another business, and the pink handbag will be paired with the pink shawl.

"Each handbag is covered in silk and has sheepskin inside and leather cording, which is a combination of Chinese and Western culture," he said.

Wang said the black silk handbag uses China's national flower, the peony, as a key element, but changes the traditional color red to black, and that black peony is embroidered into a three-dimensional form.

"It take three days for a craftsman to embroider the black peony, and another two days to complete the handmade part - including embroidering the black zircons and agates - for one black silk handbag," said Wang.

The silk covers of the handbags are waterproof, oil proof and stain resistant. Water rolls off them, just like what happens on the lotus leaf, Wang added.

Cathaya also designed a square box for their gifts. Covered with sweet-scented osmanthus patterned silk in light beige, Wang said the blossom is Hangzhou's city flower.

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