The oldest known example of wax-resist dyeing dates from 10th-century China, and implements the use of a tool known as ladao, a small knife fashioned from a bamboo handle and copper tips used to apply wax-resist.
This elaborately detailed “Dandu Jacket” from the Guizhou region of southwest China features an intricate pattern of traditional spirals, scalloped edge designs, and symmetrical patterns on its shoulders and sleeves. It was worn as an everyday garment by women in the wealthier regions of Guizhou, signified by its fastening on the right side of the jacket. For festive dress, the jacket would fasten on the left.
Image rights: Fran Parente