Dali is a Dong Village in the Qiandongnan region of Guizhou. The wooden houses of the villages are a tightly woven fabric developed over hundreds of years - they cluster around a small stream that moves through the shallow mountain valley and are tied to the terraced fields that have been laboriously carved out of the valley walls. Textile craft is integrated in the daily rounds of chores and work. Embroidery is social, done in down moments, and highly personal in terms of expression and touch. Dying is an ongoing activity that responds to time of year, weather outside, and builds deep blues in the cloth over many trips to the dye bath. Overall the textiles in the village are a mix - some surrounding places are better at other things - and villagers go to them to purchase some types of cloth. Other fabrics are machine made and mixed with the home-woven, home-dyed fabrics and ornamental details. The piping on the shirts being perhaps the most delicate - woven on an elaborately carved stool - they are then sewn on as colorful lines accenting the blue shirts women typically wear.
We visited in June - it was a quiet time for textile production as people focused on the fields at this time. Nonetheless - ongoing textile activity can always be seen to some degree or another.