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Dachang Quilt Manufactory: Handmade Quilts Master

Dachang Quilt Manufactory: Handmade Quilts Master

◎Written by Hou Ya-ting, Chen Ting-fang

◎English translation by Lin Yu-ciao

◎Photos by Zeng Sin-yao

 

 

 Chen Jyun-ming is the fourth-generation owner of Dachang Quilt Manufactory. His family has been making handmade quilts for 110 years. Dachang moved to Zuoying, Kaohsiung in 1964. 68-year-old Chen Jyun-ming has now been making handmade quilts for more than half a century. Although handmade quilts are a “sunset industry,” he still promotes them with enthusiasm and welcomes anyone that would like to take a tour of his factory.

 During most of the year, the quilt industry is rather slow, but business often gets busier for three months during the winter. However, even with such a short season, he is still able to make a living and support his family. He usually makes 3 quilts in 8 hours. The colder the weather, the better the business. Since the peak season is so short, he runs the business on his own.

 Mr. Chen uses a semi-manual, semi-machine method to construct the quilts. He uses a carding machines to help arrange the cotton into large flat pieces. He then does a “lay out.” This is when the machine lays out all the cotton in the same direction. The cotton is then organized with one horizontal layer and one straight layer. This type of cross-laying makes the quilt more durable. His high-quality, handmade quilts are snug, comfortable, and durable.

 Hand-made quilts can be customized per customer needs. He is always attentive to the quality of cotton fiber that he is using. If a customer needs an extra warm quilt he will use American cotton to make it. He chooses soft, long-fiber to make quilts which are light and warm and always feels happy and fulfilled when his customers are happy with his work.

 During the winter season, regular customers bring in their old quilts to be patched up. Chen Jyun-ming assesses whether it is worth it or not. If the cotton is of particularly high quality, then he will patch it up. The refurbished can be used for another 10 years without any problem. Chen Jyun-ming explains that when a handmade quilt is washed, it should be hung out to dry in the sun and then it will maintain its warmth and original shape longer.

 Chen Jyun-ming has no plans to retire as he continues to enjoy what he does. He likes having a job where after the busy winter season, he can rest and travel in the summer. His son is also learning how to make quilts and plans to do it as a part-time job. He hopes his nephew will take over the trade and pass down the craft to generations to come.

     Dachang Quilt Manufactory
    Address: No. 61, Lane 6, Zuoying Avenue, Zuoying District, Kaohsiung   
Phone: (07)583-8185  

 

閱讀中文版:

一甲子的溫暖 傳承四代的手工棉被

https://takao.kcg.gov.tw/article/512