About Circular Fans

The Art of Handcrafting Circular Fans

Round fans, also called circular fans, though small in shape, represent many great traditional Chinese craftsmanship. As one of the main props used on the stage of traditional operas, round fans are vividly characteristic of China’s cultural legacy. Kesi, an ancient and well-known Chinese silk tapestry, is closely related to the making of round fans. Before making kesi, a pictorial design of is needed for the selection of threads. The procedure of weaving kesi is strenuous and complicated. As the old saying goes, ‘kesi is as valuable as gold’; this technique was once used only for the royal family and was inaccessible for common people. To better pass on the traditional art of round fans, as Jing Li expresses, a balance of functionality and aesthetics must be achieved in the making of round fans.