What are Chinese Slippers?
Chinese Slippers are very similar to ballet shoes with a thin, flat sole with no arch support. The uppers are made from silk and are stitched or glued to a sole which is usually made of rubber or hardened cotton. They are lightweight and flexible slippers suitable for indoor use.
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|Bruce Lee Martial Art Slippers||Chinese Wedding Slippers||Traditional Chinese Ladies Slippers||Chinese Style Embroidered Slippers|
The classic Kung Fu chinese slipper as popularised by Bruce Lee!
|The traditional lucky red slippers often worn on wedding days.||Elegant ladies slippers with a modern stylish twist.||Colourful Chinese style slippers.|
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Different Types of Chinese Slippers
There are many different types of Chinese Slippers available, some of the most popular types are:
The Martial Art Chinese Slipper:
Also commonly know as a “Tai Chi shoe” the martial art slipper was a traditional Chinese slipper which was used to practice a range of martial arts. However it is best known for being the shoe to practice Kung Fu in thanks to being popularised by Bruce Lee.
Martial Art Slippers are soft, with rubber or hardened cotton soles, they do not have a heel as this can put considerable strain on the back when practising kicks. The uppers are made of soft cloth which is typically black or brown.
Chinese Wedding Slippers:
These are always red because Red is considered to be the luckiest of colours in China, they are often embroidered with colourful gold, yellow and green thread (yellow and green are also lucky colours). The red wedding slippers will usually be made of silk or a similar soft material as traditionally the bride must not take them off all day until she enters her marital home, so they need to be comfortable!
Upon entering the marital home there is a custom whereby the red wedding slippers will hidden deep inside the bed to symbolise how the bride would never marry again. It was also believed that the quicker the slippers disintegrated the quicker the couple would conceive.
There are many slippers available which are similar in style to the wedding slipper but are a variety of colours. As demonstrated below:
How are Traditional Chinese Slippers made?
Chinese Slippers were traditionally handmade from cloth. The cloth is hand pressed and smoothed out to reduce wrinkles in the cloth.
The sole is cut out of thin rubber or hardened cloth using scissors and an edge is added glued around the rim of the sole. A cloth sole cover is glued onto the shoe and the soles are then left in a press to seal it all together.
Intricate patterns are sewn into the sole of the slipper to give it a beautiful design element. The stitched insole is then hammered flat to make it more comfortable to wear.
Uppers are then cut from the cloth to the correct size and shape using a template. The uppers are stitched together around a shoe mould and are then secured to the sole with temporary shoe nails to hold the upper in place while it is stitched to the sole.
Padding is then added in the insole underneath a final layer in order to make the slipper more comfortable to wear.
Finally a mould is put in the shoes and they are beaten with a soft hammer to help them take the correct shape. They are then ready to be sold!