Wheat-straw fans, a summer memory from childhood

2019-05-27 14:26:34 source: 青田网;Translation: In Zhejiang



The wheat-straw fan has become a memory of the childhood of many people. 

In the summers of childhood, wheat-straw fans could be found in every household. Nowadays, most families expel summer heat with an electronic fan or an air-conditioner, and traditional handmade wheat-straw fans have almost vanished. In a village of Suichang County which carries forward the intangible cultural heritage of the county, the elders excel in weaving wheat-straw fans.

Techniques of wheat-straw fan making of Family Hu Village

Grandma Wang Qiuying, 84, is an inheritor of the techniques of wheat-straw fan making of Family Hu Village.

She said, the wheat-straw fan has a long history, and was originally a local folk art of Chun’an County in Zhejiang Province.


She has learned the weaving technique of the fan from her elders since childhood. “The wheat-straw fan can be used for different purposes such as cooling, blocking the sunlight, blocking the rain or being used as a cushion. The older generation has been accustomed to it.”

It takes a day to produce the face of a fan

It is not easy to weave a wheat-straw fan. After the harvest of wheat, it needs to go through multiple procedures including drying, shelling, soaking in water, whitening, trimming and dyeing. During the process, four wheat straws will be folded to eight, after which one of the straws will be removed.


In order to maintain the shape of “fan’s plait”, they usually insert a palm leaf stem into the middle of the “fan’s plaint” as the support.

Weaving work will take a whole day, excluding the time spent in the preparation of raw materials.

The creativity of rural residents is highlighted in the “fan’s core”

The “fan’s core” highlights the difference of a fan most directly.

There are many methods of making the “fan’s core”. Some use the dyed “fan’s plait”, some use the painted design on cardboard, with embroidery adopted most frequently.

An embroidery “fan’s core” is mainly composed of the pattern, the outer edge, and the inner edge.


The pattern is usually painted by the “scholars” in the village, and birds and flowers are the common choices. Auspicious lines will be embroidered at the outer edge of the core.

Hu Ximei said, once they left the village to attend an expo of intangible cultural heritage, some offered 100 yuan for a handmade wheat-straw fan.

Hu wished that the wheat-straw fan could be developed and more youngsters could understand the art.

(Executive Editor: Liu LIU)

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