In history, there have been many beautiful clothing styles in every period, such as the Chinese cheongsam, which has formed a unique clothing culture, and the Pan Kou, which was born in response, has gradually developed from an ancient sash to a cheongsam accessory that is both practical and decorative, thus forming a unique handcrafted skill.
01 Origin of Pan Kou
The button of the cheongsam is called Pan Kou (盘扣, Chinese frog closures) or Pan Niu (盘钮), which is a kind of button used in traditional Chinese clothing, used to fasten the lapel or decoration, it is developed from the ancient Chinese knot.
The Bei Zi (褙子) unearthed in the Southern Song tomb in De'an, Jiangxi, was tied with Pan Kou. This shows that as early as the Song Dynasty in China, people used Pan Kou to fasten loose clothes.
The role of Pan Kou in the evolution of Chinese clothing has changed, it not only has the function of connecting the lapels, but is also known as the finishing touch to decorate clothing. It vividly expresses the decorative interest of Chinese costumes that emphasize meaning, connotation, and theme.
02 The production and types of cheongsam button
Cheongsam button are mainly applied to the collar, underarm, and lapel, most are symmetrical type. The Pan Kou of the cheongsam is usually made of thin strips of fabric folded and sewn, thin fabric can be lined with cotton yarn, while the decorative Pan Kou is usually lined with metal wire, which has good ductility and can be bent and shaped at will. This is not the same as the modern button with the whole piece of hard material.
The production of the cheongsam button goes through more than twenty procedures. In the style design, color matching, and other aspects are also extremely delicate, fully expressing the designer's skill and amazing creativity, which is the soul of the design.
According to the process, cheongsam Pan Kou can be divided into Pan Xiang Kou, Qian Si Kou, and Tian Xin Kou.
Pan Xiang Kou
Pan Xiang Kou (盘香扣) is the most basic type of Pan Kou, which is made by coiling thin cloth in a spiral shape, and it is one of the common button types for cheongsam. By using Pan Xiang Kou as the base and adding other lines, many chic and delicate shapes can be created.
Qian Si Kou
Qian Si Kou (嵌丝扣) is made by using paste-brushed cloth with copper wire to make flat cloth strips, which are then made into button. In addition to the common symmetrical shape, Qian Si Kou can also be made into an asymmetrical design, rich in detail, free, and flexible. In addition to being a cheongsam Pan Kou, it can also be used as a brooch.
Tian Xin Kou
Tian Xin Kou (填芯扣) is made by using fabric filled with cotton in the closed outline of Qian Si Kou's pattern, which can be made into various shapes. The core-filled button can be used in a variety of ways, from core-filling in the same color to multi-color core-filling, or only part of the outline can be filled to create a visual effect of reality.
According to the shape, cheongsam Pan Kou can be divided into flower Pan Kou, animal Pan Kou, auspicious Pan Kou, and other type.
Flower Pan Kou
Classic flower Pan Kou types are plum, chrysanthemum, pomegranate, orchid, sunflower, peach, rose, etc.
Animal Pan Kou
The more common types of animal Pan Kou: butterfly, phoenix, bee, fish, swallow, rabbit, frog, etc.
Auspicious Pan Kou
Patterns with auspicious meanings are also often used in cheongsam buckles, such as gourd buckle, Ruyi buckle, longevity character buckle.
Other types of cheongsam Pan Kou
The beautiful of Pan Kou lies in the details, which better show the gentle and elegant cheongsam, meticulously interpreting the beauty of the oriental symbols. To date, Pan Kou, a handmade art originally attached to cheongsam, is a piece of art and decoration, and its trace can be seen everywhere in brooches, necklaces, and bags; it is also a sentimental knot, sending good wishes and auspicious symbols with the temperature of the hand in this square inch.