Fan-making is a traditional industry in Hangzhou. Early in the Song Dynasty, the city was already making some of the best fans in the country. The best of fans served as an imperial tribute in the Qing Dynasty. At present, the Hangzhou Wang Xing Ji Fan Factory is arguably the biggest fan factory in China. It produces 13 main fan categories, which include over 300 kinds of nearly 2000 different designs. Some of these include black paper fans, white paper fans, ox bone fans, dark bamboo fans, round palace fans, ivory fans, sandalwood fans, dancing fans, prop fans, feather fans, light fans, hat fans, auto-opening fans, traveler's fans, as well as the largest fan (or giant fan) and the smallest fan in the world. In one word, this factory produces all kinds of fans except the electric fans!
The best known of all are the black-paper fans trademarked with "Three Stars" (三星). They have time and again been awarded medals at international fairs. The predecessor of this modern fan factory is the Wang Xing Ji Fan Shop which was set up in 1875. "Wang" refers to Wang Xingzhai, the founder of the shop. “Xing" stands for "star”, as the trade mark of the fans made in this factory is "Three Stars". "Ji" means "mark", indicating that this factory belongs to a particular person. That is why the factory is called Wang Xing Ji Fan Factory. The black-paper fan, being superior in quality, is the most popular product. Some of the fans have beautiful paintings or inscriptions on them and are painted by artists, some of national and even international acclaim.
Sandalwood fans are fine works of art. Their fragrance lasts as long as the fans themselves and their designs are intricate and delicately crafted. The filigree designs are meticulously executed and one can only imagine the time it takes to produce these works of art. It is only natural that they should be very expensive.
The hat fan is a new product of Wang Xing Ji. It serves both as a fan and as a hat. It is highly practical and has been warmly received by foreign tourists.
Wang Xing Ji makes ten million fans every year. Many of them are for export to Japan, the US, Britain and other countries. In ancient times, Wang Xing Ji fans, Hangzhou silk, and Longjing tea were three major tributes to the emperors. Nowadays, they are known as “the three unique products of Hangzhou".
Wang Xing Ji Fan Shop (Hefang Street Branch) Add: No. 203-205, Hefang Street (河坊街203-205号)
Spring is here and so is the 2017 “Intoxicating Springtime” – Hangzhou Outdoor Leisure Season which, in the following three months, will provide the city with over 50 springtime outdoor experiences and tour itineraries. With six themes to choose from such as child-parent, flower viewing, games and sports, spring couldn’t be livelier.
The annual time for picking Longjing green tea leaves, one of the top ten renowned teas of China, has begun in Hangzhou and everywhere tea farmers are now busy picking and hand frying the famous leaves. If you wanted to take a sneak peek at how the farmers meticulously pick their verdant leaves from bushes nestled in undulating hills, or if you wanted to sample, at first hand, this year’s Longjing variety, then head to the following three tea villages which are known for their tea, tea culture and tea-related tourist attractions.