Today,China"s feather fans are made mainly of goose feathers.Most are peach-shaped,consisting of about 40 feathers.On the snow-white wurface of fans,differentdesigns are made of gold and silver silk thread. Some include green peacockfeathers as edging and may include a red velvet flower in the middle, presenting a gorgeous picture.
Compared with the feather fan, the Chinese-fan-palm-leaf fan has a history of only about 1,500 years. It is cheaper and produces lots of cooling wind which makes it a popular favorite. The process ofproducing a Chinese-fan-palm-leaf fan is quite complicated. First, you need a light green Chinese- fan-palm-leaf with a stalk about 15 centimeters long. Let it sit for about 20 days,then wash it and dry it until it is the color of jade. Once you have got teh color r ight, you press itinto shape and tailor it according to its size.You then trim its edges with thread. The most famous fans of this kind are glass-white fans made of young Chinese-fan- palm-leaves. This style is often painted.
The term for folding fan in Chinese is Che-San. Kuo Jo-hsu in the late 11th century commented about folding fans in his book on painting:
"The Korean envoys in China sometimes gave folding fans as personal presents. These fans are made of (dark) blue coloured paper. Paintings on the fans are figure objects, dignified men and women strolling or on horseback in the countryside."
"There are riverbanks and streams in gold, lotus flowers, trees and waterfowls all ingeniously rendered in this decorative metallic style. There are silver tones appearing like mist and moonlight with is extremely attractive. These originated in Japan and are known as Wo-Shan (Japanese fans). In recent years they dropped out of sight are rarely found in the market."
The nest type fan is the silk fan. ts full-moon shape led to it being called the round fan. The frame is usually made of iron or bamboo slips. A piece of silk is stretched over the frame and is then decorated with colored drawings.For a time, this type fan was popular among young ladies in the royal court or who came from wealthy families .
The folding fans are the most popular in China even today.They came onto use ring the Song Dynasty about 700 years ago. The folding fands used by emperors and their ministers had ivory,sandalwood or mottled bamboo as the mount which was oftencarved with figures of birds, flowers, landscapes and even poems. These fans often came with a matching jade pendant. When the ministers gathered, they would proudly display their folded fans.
Most surviving fans from the Ming and Ch"ing dynasties show little sign of wear because from the 15th century onwards fans were respected and mounted in albums, just as were the round palace fans of the Sung dynasty. They became collectors items even in the time they were made. Aware that their fans were not simply used and discarded, but collected and appreciated, the fan painters expanded their creative abilities in poetry, painting and calligraphy to their utmost. In no other art were the Three Excellences of Chinese art - painting, calligraphy and poetry - so significantly and successfully entwined as in the folding fan.