花紐與旗袍緄邊的原材料 - 半絲緞 Semi-silk Satin – The Traditional Material of Cheongsam Binding and Flower Buttons

圖片所見的的緄條布,來自已故唐發喜師傅店裡的庫存。由於有不同程度的變色和老化,不適合再用來做旗袍的緄邊,於是輾轉來到我手中,成為我創作花紐的材料。早陣子重新整理時,順便數了一下,合共有160種顏色,全部鋪開在枱面上,花團錦簇,甚為壯觀!要知道這裡只是少部分狀況不佳的庫存,若果再加上其餘狀況良好的庫存,當年唐師傅店裡應該有二、三百種顏色的緄條布!港式旗袍緄邊和花紐顏色與面料完美配合,這些半絲緞緄條布厥功甚偉。

現在用半絲緞做旗袍緄邊,除了一些老師傅還有自己的庫存能為客人配色外,基本應該都不會再有了,因為已經買不到這些緄條布。從前,旗袍師傅會去有專門賣緄條布的店,為客人的來料配緄邊顏色。這些緄條布,已經預先斜裁,師傅買回去就可以直接裁成條子來用。所以買這些布,並不是按碼或米買的,而是按唐寸來買的。猶記得,當年最少可以買4唐寸(約15厘米)的緄條布,剛好足夠做一件旗袍的緄邊。圖二是其中一間有賣緄條布的建美綢緞,我在網上找到當年的照片,可以見到店裡的一整面牆,布架上全是各種深淺不同的緄條布,顏色少說也有二三百種!由於一般買緄條布都是買一小幅布,而且又是已經斜裁,所以店裡的枱面也有特別的標尺來裁剪這些緄條布。已經斜裁的緄條布布頭呈平行四邊型,對準枱面兩端的標尺鋪妥,按標尺刻度用粉絲袋彈一道粉線,再剪出來給客人。圖三是建美現址店內的枱面,可以見到枱面那一道特別的唐寸標尺,就是用來裁剪緄條布專用的。我心血來潮寫這一篇小文,沒有時間親身去店裡拍照,只能在網上截圖,希望將來有機會補上比較好的照片。

隨着緄邊布需求減少,染廠又不願意接染少量布的訂單,緄條布幾年前已經消失於市面。現時的替代品,有光明緞、高密度色丁、真絲素縐緞和預先包裝緄條。

Those colorful fabrics in the first photo are small part of leftover stock belonged to deceased Cheongsam tailor Master Tong. These fabrics are semi-silk satin, traditional material used for cheongsam binding and flower buttons. There are around 160 colours in this batch. Since there are different levels of discoloring and some became too fragile to be used for making clothes, now I used them to create my flower buttons design.

10 years ago, we could still buy these specially dyed and cut fabric from specialist. These fabrics were dyed in different shades of colours, and were already pre-cut in bias, so that tailor could directly cut out stripes to use as binding. Photo 2 was one of the specialist store selling these binding fabric. The full piece of wall was covered with these fabrics and you can see there were hundreds of colours and shades. Since these fabric were precut in bias, so the edge of the fabric was in diagonal. To cut out the desired length, these stores usually equipped with a pair of diagonal Cantonese ruler mount on the cutting bed, one ruler on each side of the bed, you can see this mounted ruler in Photo 3. These fabrics were not sold in meter or yard, they were sold in “Cun” (Chinese inch). One could buy as little as 4 Cun (around 15 cm), which would be enough to make one cheongsam’s binding. With years of experience, professional tailors usually built up their collections of binding fabric, and thus if you custom made a cheongsam with these old tailors, they might still use these fabric to make binding for your cheongsam.

With little demand of cheongsam binding, and dyeing factory not willing to take small orders, these specially made binding fabric completely disappeared in the market few years ago. Nowadays, different types of satin or packaged bias cut binding are used as replacement. 

圖二/Photo 2
圖三/Photo 3

圖二原圖來自維基百科/ Photo 2’s original photo is taken from Wikipedia: 

https://commons.m.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:HK_Jordan_%E5%BA%87%E5%88%A9%E9%87%91%E8%A1%97_Pilkem_Street_%E8%8A%B1%E5%B8%83%E5%BA%97_near_%E5%AF%B6%E9%9D%88%E8%A1%97_Bowring_Street.jpg

圖三截圖來自「新裝如初 Classics Anew」的網上片集《設計師日常:尖沙咀美麗都大廈》/Photo 3 is captured from a video produced by Classics Anew: