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Garments during the Spring & Autumn and Warring States Period

Various etiquettes were gradually revoked during the Warring States Period (475-221BC) because of frequent wars. Garments changed accordingly in the seven great states (Qi, Chu, Yan, Han, Zhao, Wei and Qin) in that period due to different natural conditions and social customs. We can see the representative characteristics of garments in the period from colored wooden figures excavated from tombs of the Chu State of the Warring States Period at Changsha City of Hunan Province. At that time, garments were usually loose with the back part wrapping the forepart. The dimensional complementation was realized with transversal lines and oblique lines to get decorative effect. Since the materials were light and thin, people used even and stiff brocade to make selvedge, and decorated the selvedge with cloud patterns so as to prevent the clothes from sticking to the body. In this way, the clothing design was both practical and beautiful. All these concepts and tailoring methods fully embody ingenuity of ancient Chinese.

Men's clothes in the Warring States Period did not reach the knees and were decorated with continuous rectangular lines and stripes. These patterns were very similar to those decorated at the brims of vessels and lacquer wears of that time. Men's clothing basically featured cross collars, narrow sleeves and loincloth. Loincloth hooks were usually made of gold, silver, copper, iron or jade and were carved with patterns and sometimes studded with turquoises to show dignity and wealth. In addition, a manual inlay technique was employed to process metals and stones, and hooks made in this way appeared more exquisite. With relatively advanced iron smelting industry, people in the Warring States Period were able to make small copper tulwars for men to hang on their clothes.

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