Shanghai Textiles Museum
Updated: 2015-04-01

About 200 traditional costumes of China’s Tujia ethnic group are on display at the Shanghai Textiles Museum. The exhibition opens free to visitors and runs through May 10.

The Tujia ethnic group, with a population of about 8 million, mainly lives in compact communities in the Tujia and Miao autonomous prefecture in western part of Hunan province and the Enshi Tujia autonomous prefecture in Hubei province.

Traditionally, Tujia men wear short jackets with buttons down the front and wind red or white cloths about their heads. Tujia women like to wear loose jackets and long skirts. Their jackets are always buttoned down on the left side being trimmed with lace and having short, broad sleeves. In spring and autumn, they like wear white clothes and black gown, similar to the color of crow and sparrow, the dress is thus called “crow-sparrow costume”.

Tujia ethnic women are skilled at weaving Xi Lan Ka Pu, also known as Tujia brocade. Xi Lan Ka Pu, with a 2,000-year history, is used to process garments or bedcovers. At the age of ten, girls will learn to weave a Xi Lan Ka Pu as a veil for the occasion when they get married and as a cloak for singing and dancing parties.

In local festivals, people of all ages wear festive costumes, singing and dancing. The exhibition also displays the scenes of great local ethnic flavor, such as the “hand-waving dance”, a traditional collective performance when dancers form a circle and swing arms freely with the music of drums and gongs, and the “weeping marriage”, a custom that the new bride should begin to cry half a month or one month before the wedding ceremony to show her ability and virtue, no matter whether she feels satisfied with her future husband or not.

Shanghai Textiles Museum sits on the former site of the 130-year-old Shenxin Textile No. Nine Factory. Offering an exhibition area of 4,800 square meters, it provides a retrospective overview of Shanghai’s textile industry, while recreating old style cloth stores and other scenes in scale.

150 Macao Rd, Putuo district, Shanghai
9:30 am to 4 pm, Tuesday to Saturday
Free of charge
Get there: Take metro line 3 or 4 to the Zhongtan Road station.


Traditional costumes of China’s Tujia ethnic group are displayed at Shanghai Textiles Museum. Photo provided to

The museum reproduces the scene of a family workshop on textiles in old China. Photo provided to


The museum collects one of 300 mini sewing machines produced by the US Singer Sewing Co. in the 1920s. Photo provided to

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