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Huang Daopo Innovating Textile Technique

http://www.chinese.cn 10:43, October 23, 2009 china.org.cn

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Huang Daopo
Huang Daopo

Huang Daopo of late Song Dynasty (960-1279 AD) and early Yuan Dynasty (1271-1368 AD) was from Wunijing of Songjiang. Since she could not bear her parents-in-law when she was young, she left her hometown and wandered to Hainan Island. The area is abundant in cotton, and the Li people there had started a textile industry long ago. Huang Daopo lived with Li women and learnt from them the techniques of planting and spinning and weaving cotton.

Now gray at the temples, Huang Daopo came back to her hometown 30 years later. She taught people in Songjiang the textile technique she had learnt in Hainan. At the same time she also popularized and innovated textile machines that greatly increased efficiency. She improved on the cotton fluffer and successively made the most advanced textile tool of the time, a pedal spinning wheel with three spindles. Combining the advanced textile technique of the Li ethnic group with the traditional weaving techniques of the Han ethnic group, she also produced textiles such as bedding with various patterns called "Wunijing Bedding".

After Huang Daopo died, local people buried her near Wunijing Town, and also compiled a ballad to commemorate this ordinary but also great ancient clever woman. The popular ballad is as follows: "Granny Huang, Granny Huang, teach me spinning, teach me weaving, two spindles and two bolts of cloth."  



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