I was toying with the idea of some sort of New Year post with a swirly font, but it all seemed a little silly in the face of the fact that I was working for most of the 31st, missed the countdown due to an erratic sleeping pattern and my new year celebration largely consisted of reading The Years of Rice and Salt whilst eating ice cream mochi (from Kowloon Dairy, I'll have you know). That said, it was a reasonably productive day (see Elven Tunic) and there are some speculative designs in the works, including some Asian Steampunk, a cloak with pockets and a feathered mantle. The blue version of the Steampunk Coat (with gunmetal grey buttons) is still on the horizon, closer now, in theory.
These are the feathers for aforementioned mantle as they were on the counter of the wholesaler's. They only had enough to cover the shoulders of a cloak, so we won't be looking a whole cloak of feathers until they restock their long unfortunately. It's likely to be over a dark brown cape (not quite full-length since you really don't want to wash this frequently) at present, lined in a heavy black linen (I do have a penchant for linen, what with it being a material that looks in character for most settings and whilst it does crease a little, isn't as prone to it as cotton or silk-cotton blends).
The City of Cloth is located near the border in ShenZhen. I'll be the first to admit that it's not the best place to buy cloth in the country, but it offers a large selection and is significantly cheaper than in Hong Kong. The Mercenary isn't quite up to the point where she can buy whole bolts of cloth wholesale (though we really do go through an awful lot of black linen), but perhaps one day, we shall not have to weave in and out of the hundred odd stalls.
A note on the name of the place: The Chinese love calling things cities. Generally speaking, a cluster of shops would be termed "City of Blah." Like the City of Tea, a mall with about three hundred odd shops devoted to tea. Or City of Books, pretty much an large bookstore would aspire to this title. And so on and so forth.
The picture to the side shows rolls of curtain fabric. Pretty much the only well-organised rolls in the entirety of the place. Everywhere else in the self-styled city, the standing rolls of cloth are crammed next to each other. Any given stall is composed of at least fifty percent pure, solid cloth.
This is the stall where almost all of the polyester and silk brocade come from. As the photo shows, it also deals in Thai silk (here defined as a weave of silk rather than place of origin), silk velvet and silk wool blends.
Stalls just wrap themselves up in this attractive orange sheeting at the end of the day. It denotes closed. I suspect there is very little fear of someone pocketing a heafty thirty-metre bolt of cloth in the night.
Cloth is generally displayed in these "cascades" (I'm feeling fanciful, I'm afraid). This stall specialises in heavily embroidered and beaded and sequenced cloths. Mostly in the almost offensive colours that you see.