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Tea silk is all but forgotten in present-day China .
The Chinese name is "xiangyunsha", literally "fragrant cloud organdy".
Its tradition derives from Guangdong Province and dates from the Ming Dynasty (14th to 17th century AD).

A complicated dyeing process makes tea silk unique and precious.
Kathrin von Rechenberg works with two small producers in the Pearl River Delta where the tea silk processing is still carried out by hand in the traditional way.

The silk fabric is dyed 30-40 times with organic plant ingredients and laid flat in the open air to dry between each dye.
Covering it with river sand gives it its characteristic dark sheen. Just before finishing it is washed in tea.
This natural and traditional fabric which is completely ecologically processed reflects water, sand, sun and the rhythm of the seasons.
Tea silk is a living, breathing fabric.
Its luster, like that of the pearl, increases with time. The uneven shading makes the fabric unique.

You'll find the photos of the dying process: