China Tours & Private Packages - Discover the mistery of China with a Local China Travel Agency(TTC)

You are here: Home » China Travel Guide » China Culture » Taiwan Traditional Clothing: Hanfu, Qipao, Tang Suit, Zhongshan Suit

Taiwan Traditional Clothing: Hanfu, Qipao, Tang Suit, Zhongshan Suit

Taiwan Traditional Clothing

Taiwan's traditional costumes present different styles according to different historical periods and ethnic groups. It can be mainly divided into two categories: aboriginal clothing and Han clothing. The indigenous people include the present-day Ame, Atayal, Paiwan, Bunong, Peinan, Runai, Zhu, Saixia, Yami (Dawu), Shao, Kamalan, Taruko, Sachilaya, Saidek, and other ethnic groups, as well as the Pingpu ethnic group. Except for the Pingpu people, which have been sinicized, all ethnic groups of the indigenous people have their own clothing culture. Han costumes, derived from the traditions of the mainland countryside from early immigration, gradually influenced different ethnic groups in Taiwan; During the Japanese occupation, it was influenced by Japanese colonial culture; At the beginning of the 20th century, Western culture was accepted, and clothing gradually became westernized. This article begins in the mid-19th century, after the Han Taiwanese entered the sedentary society from an early immigrant society, until the middle of the 20th century, and their clothing was completely westernized; An overview of Taiwanese Han costumes during this period.

The development of Taiwan's Han society

In Taiwan, in the early 17th century, with the settlement of the Dutch and Spaniards, as well as the operation of Mingzheng, Han people began to immigrate to Taiwan in large numbers. As a result, the number of records about Taiwan in Chinese and foreign literature has increased significantly, and Taiwan has since entered a historical era. In the fifteenth year of the Ming Dynasty (1661), Zheng Chenggong led an army to Taiwan, drove out the Dutch, and established Taiwan's first Han regime in 1662. In order to run the anti-Qing Dynasty base, with reclamation as the first task, a large number of mainlanders were encouraged to immigrate to Taiwan, and at this time there were about 120,000 Han people in Taiwan, an increase of several times compared with more than 20,000 during the Dutch period.

In the 22nd year of the Kangxi Dynasty of the Qing Dynasty (1683), Shi Lang Crusade platform, the following year the Qing court officially reclaimed Taiwan and established Fu County, which was subordinate to Fujian Province. However, at first, mainly due to political considerations, restrictions were placed on immigration from the mainland to Taiwan, fearing that coastal displaced people or Ming Dynasty remnants would gather in Taiwan and pose a threat to the government. However, in the two provinces of Fujian and Guangdong, the population has long been overgrown and it is difficult to make a living, and I heard that Taiwan's fertile land and vast plains all want to start a new business, so there are still many people who risk smuggling. After the Yongzheng and Qianlong dynasties, the sea ban was gradually relaxed, and a large number of immigrants came to Taiwan to settle down so that Taiwan developed into a prosperous scene of "the world of sugar grain."

The Qianlong and Jiaqing years were the climax of immigration to Taiwan, with more than 1.9 million people numbered according to the population survey of the 16th year of Jiaqing (1811). In the thirteenth year of Guangxi (1887), after the Sino-French War, the Qing court, sensing the importance of Taiwan's strategic position, transformed Taiwan into a province. At the end of the Guangxi period, the population of Han people had reached more than 2.5 million, and they became the main residents of the island of Taiwan.

An overview of the form of clothing

From the above, it can be seen that the early Han society in Taiwan can be said to be an immigrant society, and most of the immigrants came from southern China, especially the two provinces of Fujian and Guangdong. Therefore, in terms of clothing culture and living customs, it also follows the traditions of the original hometown, and in the "Qingling period", men's clothing is most popular on formal occasions, wearing time robes and gowns or vests. People with official positions wear a python robe inside and a gown outside, which is shorter than a robe, and longer than an ordinary gown, and the color is more of stone blue, and a patch is attached to each of the chest and back of the gown to indicate the level of the official rank. Han men shaved their hair in accordance with the Qing system. Laboring civilians wear shirts and pants, and wear headscarves or hats on their heads when working. Women's clothing is mainly shirts and skirts, and costumes are set of shirts and skirts, decorated with embroidery lace, paying attention to edge decoration. Women's underwear, red as expensive, popular pleated skirts. During the festival, cloud shoulder accessories are added, and the daughters of officials or wealthy families wear big red python shirts and veils when they get married, and commoners wear more ornate costumes as ceremonies. Wear shirts and pants when laboring. Women's headdresses, hairpins of various gold and silver pearls, or eyebrows. Most of the Tibetan women were tied and wore embroidered bow shoes, commonly known as three-inch golden lotus. Guest women do not have entangled feet, and usually wear shirts and trousers, simple edges, and simple colors, mainly blue and black.

The lake water green flower base is woven with loquat, peach, and other flower leaf patterns, the cuffs and collars are applied with a wide pink edge, and the continuous long and chrysanthemum webbing belts are strangely proportioned. Spherical ornaments with fancy buttons and placket digging are also quite rare. "Lake Water Green Jacquard Luo Cardigan Women's Shirt", era: Qing Dynasty. Taipei: National Museum of History. Image courtesy of the National Museum of History. Website name: Digital Archives and Digital Learning Outcomes Portal.
 
The plackets of the large sleeves are used for formal occasions, and the black ground is mostly worn by the elderly, and the shallow lake green sleeves and finely embroidered peony flowers on the cuffs make it not old-fashioned, but elegant and beautiful. The front placket has two rows of embroidery with trims, giving the whole coat a gorgeous feel. "Black Silky Silky Blouse", era: Qing Dynasty. Taipei: National Museum of History. Image courtesy of the National Museum of History. Website name: Digital Archives and Digital Learning Outcomes Portal.
 

In the Sino-Japanese War of 1894, the Qing government was defeated, Taiwan was ceded to Japan in the Treaty of Shimonoseki in 1895, and Taiwan entered the "period of Japanese occupation". Taiwanese folk traditional clothing has not changed much.

After the 1910s, clothing began to diversify. In addition to being influenced by China's entry into the Republic of China era, Taiwan is also mainly affected by Japan's gradually Westernized clothing trend. Men cut their hair braids, dresses are still in robes and horse coats, melon-skin hats or Western-style hats, usually wear shirts and pants, and wear headscarves or cloaks when working. Some men began to wear suits, and a few also wore Japanese-style clothing, but it was more common among young people and in large cities, and older people and ordinary people changed less. In women's clothing, at this time the change is greater, the top has become more and more fitted, young women wear more pants with a fitted tunic, the edges are more simplified, only decorated with fine cloth strips, formal occasions are still skirts, at this time the skirt also began to simplify from wrap-around horse skirts, simplified into a Western-style tube skirt. Women are no longer tied up by this time.

After the 1920s, clothing was most diverse. There are traditional styles, Japanese styles, Western styles, and even a combination of Chinese and Western styles. From the old photos, you can see the family wearing various clothes. Wedding dresses also show a combination of Chinese and Western dresses, such as the groom wearing a Western-style dress and the bride wearing a Chinese-style dress with a white veil on her head. Suits became more common for men, but rural or labor workers still wore traditional cardigans and pants. Young women are popular for short shirts with bell sleeves, Western-style skirts that reach down to the ankles, and kimonos or dresses are also popular. However, middle-aged women and older still wore traditional clothing, but at this time there were almost no trims on the shirts, and the choice of decors and fabrics had been influenced by Japan.

In the 1930s and 40s, men generally wore suits, and Taiwanese women were influenced by the popular qipao in mainland China, qipao and dress were the main clothing of women during this period, and after the outbreak of the Sino-Japanese War in 1937, Japan actively promoted the imperial movement in Taiwan.

Advocating the reform of traditional clothing in clothing, because kimono production is expensive and unchanged, Western-style clothing is vigorously promoted, and Western-style tailoring replaces traditional Chinese flat tailoring, which also accelerates the Westernization of clothing. After the restoration of Taiwan in 1945, under the influence of the Westernization trend of the entire society, clothing also continued to change with Western fashion.

The pleated red dress is worn on the official auspicious festival, and if the family has a wife and concubine, only Mrs. Zheng is eligible to wear the red dress at the party, representing her noble status. The fine pleats are finely stitched. Since the rectangle on the front is called "horse face", it is also called horse face skirt. This red dress is contrasted in black and embroidered with lace, which looks gorgeous and elegant. The dyeing work of the Qing Dynasty was extremely good, and the red color is still as bright as new. "Red Silk Pleated Skirt", era: Qing Dynasty. Taipei: National Museum of History. Image courtesy of the National Museum of History. Website name: Digital Archives and Digital Learning Outcomes Portal.
 
The middle part of the shoulder is divided into two layers, the lower layer is a ruyi cloud head-shaped embroidery, and the upper layer is composed of ten symmetrical lotus petals, embroidered with floral patterns. The ends of the Ruyi cloud head embroidery are embroidered with fish-shaped ornaments and beads. Four orange linen streamers are attached under the black cloud embroidery. "White Land Ruyi Cloud Head Shaped Cloud Shoulder", era: late Qing Dynasty. Taipei: National Museum of History. Image courtesy of the National Museum of History. Website name: Digital Archives and Digital Learning Outcomes Portal.
 

Similarities and differences between Min customer service decoration

Taiwan's traditional Han costumes can be divided into two series: Minnan clothing and Hakka clothing. Hakka is a family of the Han people, and in the process of Taiwan's development, Minnan, Hakka, and aborigines lived together and cooperated, but later they slowly clashed to competition. The situation of separate settlements is fixed. Although the Taiwanese ethnic groups later became more inclusive due to the deepening of mutual influence, the phenomenon of the separation of the two ethnic groups allowed the customs of the two ethnic groups to retain their own characteristics and be reflected in their clothing. Generally speaking, the difference between men's clothing is not much, and the difference in women's clothing is mainly in hairstyle and wrapped feet, natural feet. In terms of clothing form, because it is also under the great tradition of the Han people in the Central Plains, it is a cardigan with an open right. The rim decoration of the clothing of Tibetan women is more complex and varied, and the choice of colors is more beautiful; The colors and edges of Hakka clothing are relatively simple and simple. Malaysian women wear more skirts; Guest women wear more trousers. In the use of fabrics, there are many types of Buri, in addition to cotton and linen, but also use a variety of silk fabrics and other gorgeous fabrics; Most of the guests use strong and firm fabrics, mainly cotton and linen, and silk materials are used for dresses. The clothing of Hakka women is different from the north and south, and the northern Hakka gathered in the area of Taoyuan, Hsinchu, and Miaoli, because of the close contact with the Tibetan people, the influence of the Tibetan culture is greater, and the decoration style is similar to that of the Tibetan woman. Southern Hakka, the most distinctive is the "blue shirt", Hakka blue shirt is mainly blue and black, the neck edge of the collar sleeve is also matched with dark and shallow blue and black fabric, and the length of the body is more than the Fujian and northern Hakka long, with dark blue or black pants. In the shape of Fujian and customer service jewelry and the choice of fabric, as the settlement in Taiwan has been long, the times have changed, and the differences have become less and less. However, in the style of embroidery, there is a big difference between the performance of Min and Guest, and in terms of clothing, the guest is simple and complex; In embroidery, it is just the opposite, Hakka embroidery, complex and gorgeous, full of composition, rich in color, strong contrast. The color of the embroidery of the Min is relatively elegant, and some embroidery edge materials are imported from the mainland and then tailored to the clothes, so the style is greatly influenced by the mainland.

 

The style and characteristics of Taiwanese clothing

The shape, material, color, pattern, and manufacturing process of clothing are inseparable from geography, climate, and products. It was also influenced by the social form, politics, and economy of the time.

In the early days, Taiwan's textile industry was not developed, and clothing fabrics were mostly imported from the mainland. The main reason is that in addition to the convenience of sea transportation, Taiwan's land is fertile, and the cultivation of rice and sugar cane is relatively profitable. The rice grown in Taiwan is needed by the mainland, and the cotton, silk fabrics, and other daily necessities needed by immigrants can be taken from the mainland, thus forming a "regional division of labor" between Taiwan and the mainland, where one side supplies agricultural products and the other supplies daily handicraft products. During the Japanese occupation, cloth was also imported from Japan, especially in the middle and late period of Japanese occupation, Japanese cotton cloth gradually replaced the mainland and became the main supplier of Taiwanese fabric.

 

Although early Taiwanese textiles were not developed, the embroidery process was very exquisite. It is not difficult to confirm the embroidered objects from the late 19th century to the early 20th century. In addition to clothes, shoes, hats, bags, accessories. Daily household items, from the embroidered brow curtain, sword belt, and hook on the red bed, to the group of colored embroidery ornaments, as well as the embroidered pillow and sheets on the bed, in addition to door curtains, mirror covers, coffee table mats, table skirts, and bibs, are all decorated with embroidery. Many embroidery is prepared by the bride, and this kind of embroidery is full of vitality and creativity.

Taiwanese Han people from early immigration brought the life and clothing culture of their hometown, integrated with Taiwan's natural and social environment, and gradually formed a local style, in addition to the different styles of Min and Hakka, it should be noted that the Pingpu ethnic group, which has long been Hanized among the aborigines, integrated into Han society, seems to have been assimilated, but Han costumes are more or less influenced by the Pingpu people, especially in the performance of embroidery. For example, cross embroidery and some geometric patterns rarely used by the Han people will appear in the traditional clothing of the Han people, such as daily embroidery such as the edge of clothing, belly pocket, bag, table skirt, and so on.

In the early 20th century, when Taiwanese clothing was not fully westernized, in addition to inheriting the traditional Chinese form, it also incorporated the form influence of local aborigines and Japanese kimono, and with the addition of Western tailoring techniques in the future, it presented a diverse and colorful style.

Recommended

Top 4 China Tours chosen by most customers to explore in the best way. Check the detailed itinerary, or tailor your own trip now with us.

We are here to help you...
Start planning your tailor-made with 1-1 help from our travel advisors.

3.6296

Create Your Trip

INQUIRY