Li textile technique is Hainan's intangible cultural heritage
As one of Hainan Island’s most notable traditional handicrafts, traditional Li textile techniques are included on the list of national intangible cultural heritage protection items.
The Li textile techniques are a form of traditional craftsmanship used to make clothes and other daily necessities. The textile techniques are sometimes referred to as a “living fossil” of Chinese cultural heritage as they are still in use today.
Techniques include “twisting spindle,” “spinning yarn by treadle-operated one-spindle-wheel,” “dying yarn and fabric with natural dyestuffs including vegetable dye,” “spinning with lap loom,” and “embroidery.”
Textiles made using traditional Li textile techniques, such as dragon quilts, “head-through garments,” coverlets, tight skirts, kerchiefs, hats, and wall hangings are all Li Brocade creations. Dragon quilts are a comprehensive showcase of the Li people’s techniques, once regarded as a suitable tribute to emperors.
The traditional textiles illustrate the development of Li culture and customs. They have become increasingly valuable as masters of the ancient craft are slowly dying out.
To promote the preservation of Li traditional culture as well as to encourage locals to promote this centuries-old handcraft, the relevant departments in Sanya have taken preservation measures in recent years, including establishing special organizations, holding training courses, organizing foreign interchanges, and publishing books on Li brocade.