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Brocade produced in Chengdu during the Western Han Dynasty (206BC-AD23) was popular among the royal and elite of old China. The Han emperor appointed a Jin-Guan (an official in charge of brocade production) specifically to oversee brocade production in Chengdu. Chengdu has since been known as 'Jin-Guan', which means the brocade city, or more colloquially as Jin Cheng (Brocade city).

 

Liu Bei, general, warlord, and founding emperor of the Shu Kingdom of the Three Kingdoms ear (220-280), entered Sichuan with his troops in 214 to overthrow Liu Zhang, the governor appointed by the Han Emperor. Liu Bei's reward to his army and generals was 1,000 bolts of Sichuan brocade from the local official store. Zhuge Liang, renowned Shu statesman, thinker and strategist during the Three Kingdom Period, gave state priority to agriculture and sericulture. He once said in a memorial to the throne, Brocade is only the financial support for the decisive battles.

 

Only high officials and noble lords could afford the luxury of Sichuan brocade. But as ancient merchants of that time regularly traveled the Silk Road, this rich weave also sold in central Asia, the Mediterranean and Europe.

 

Sichuan brocade has a 2,000-year-long history and comes in several hundreds patterns. Certain ethnic minorities in Southwest China traditionally wear brocde aprons and headscarves. Brocade today is mainly used for quilt covers, clothes and decorative purposes.

 

Sichuan borcade is a big seller both at home and abroad. It's now produced on the electronic jacquard loom.

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