Alongside the well-known giant panda, silk, especially Shu silk, enjoys an irreplaceable status in Chinese culture and history. The Shu Brocade Museum in Chengdu offers visitors interested in these unique silk brocades an opportunity to admire their history and some of the finest examples of this traditional Sichuan hand craft, free of charge.
Shu brocades are a kind of embroidered silk fabric that dates back to the Shu kingdom of over 2,000 years ago. The brocades are soft, extremely intricate and colorful, and can be used as decoration in a variety of objects, such as quilts and clothing. In fact, Shu brocades are of such high quality and sophistication that Chengdu has been called the 'City of Brocades' for hundreds of years.
The Shu Brocade Museum is located on the second floor of Jinxiu Factory on East Caotang Road, near the Thatched Cottage of Du Fu. At present, it houses some 500 silk weavings and screens that bear many of the intricate patterns that are hallmarks of Shu brocades.
The museum does a wonderful job diplaying this unique aspect of Sichuan art that is largely unknown. Anyone with an appreciation for Chinese art would certainly be missing out if they visited Chengdu and did not make time to visit the Shu Brocade Museum.