Hanfu: The Historical Dressing in China

Editorials News | Feb-03-2021

Hanfu: The Historical Dressing in China

The Han people in China used to wear the historical styles known as Hanfu. In the ancient old days, it used to consist of a robe or shirt as the upper cloth and a pleated skirt as a lower cloth. Post Han Dynasty, this clothing went into evolution with a variety of styles that used fabrics covering a number of complex textile production techniques especially the ones producing silk. The traditional Han Chinese Clothing influenced many neighboring cultures and paved the way for the development of the Japanese kimono, Korean hanbok, and the Vietnamese áo Giao lĩnh.


Han Clothing consists of all of the traditional clothing classifications of the Han Chinese with a written history of more than three millennia. Han clothing especially for the elite groups was purely concentrated on silk since the beginning of history. The inseparable focus towards silk was supposedly found by the Yellow Emperor’s consort ‘Leizu’. Later, the Shang Dynasty built the rudiments of historical Chinese clothing. They used to have a Yi, which was a narrow cuffed, a knee-length tunic tied with a sash along with a narrow, ankle-length skirt known as chang. It was further together worn with a Pixi which is a length of fabric that reached the knees. Distinct primary colors and green were used due to the scope of technology at that time.


Then the arrival of the Western Zhou Dynasty created clothing as a status symbol in a very strict hierarchical society. The ornateness of a costume used to decide the height of one’s rank. The parameters included the length of a skirt, the wideness of a sleeve, and the level of ornamentation. The Silk route helped to influence neighboring cultural clothing by the nomadic people to the north and Central Asian cultures to the west and introduced the elements of Han Chinese clothing.

By: Kiara Sharma

Mahaveer Public School