Watch the video to learn Sumayyah's exploration of the indigo printing technique in Rui'an, Wenzhou. [Video/Wenzhou Overseas Media Center]
In this video, Hosany Sumayyah, a Mauritian surgeon who has been living in China for 12 years, is presented with the opportunity to visit Wang Hesheng, an experienced practitioner of the time-honored craft of indigo printing who lives in Rui'an, a county-level city in Wenzhou, Zhejiang province,
During the visit, Sumayyah learns why the traditional art form requires not only craftsmanship but also a passion for culture.
Indigo printing, called lanjiaxie in Chinese, is a traditional cloth dyeing technique that originated in Wenzhou during the Qin Dynasty (221-206 BC) before reaching its peak during the Tang Dynasty (618-907).
Indigo prints evolved from being the gift of choice to foreign envoys during the Tang Dynasty to common wedding items found in nearly every household in southern Zhejiang province during the Ming and Qing dynasties (1368-1911). The prints are also the only existing traditional Chinese dyed fabrics that have opera figures as the main patterns.