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Beijing Municipal Commission of Tourism Development

Exquisite Costume for Peking Opera

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Peking Opera Costume Manufacturing Technique

Beijing Play Equipment Factory is the only state-own stage costume factory in Beijing with its cooperative joined by 18 stage costume stores including Sanshun Brand and Shaungxing Brand in 1956. It once enjoyed its heydays by offering costumes to many Peking Opera masters like Mei Lanfang and Ma Lianliang, later mending the imperial robes for the Imperial Palace of emperors in the Ming and Qing Dynasties hundreds of years ago, and manufacturing a great number of stage costumes for films, operas and modern dramas.

The embroidery and needlework are skills that need to learn from childhood, because there are a lot of time-consuming skills and stitching methods to be acquired. Their skills for variously embroideries require at least ten years to being mastered even for talented learners. It takes at least three years to cultivate a junior embroider who still need to learn and practice for practical application. At present, there are only several masters above 70 years old who acquired the complete techniques including Kuitou (headpieces for traditional opera performances) and Bazi (weapons and props used in traditional opera performances).

Shop: Beijing Play Equipment Factory北京剧装厂

Address: No. 32, Xicaoshi Street, Dongcheng District东城区西草市街32号

Manufacturing Skills for Peking-Opera Kuitou (Headpieces for Traditional Opera Performances)


Manufacturing skills for Peking-opera Kuitou (headpieces for traditional opera performances) was taking shape with the development of Beijing Opera after the Qing Dynasty. Kuitou is designed in shapes of hundreds of kinds as one of the props used in the opera, based on the status, gender, age and personality of each opera figure, by artistic approaches like drawing, sculpture, writing and embroidery, and those combined in facial make-ups featuring vivid highlights. Master Zhang Yuelan made innovations based on her skills inherited from her father. Her works are of great art appreciation and collection value.

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