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Huzhou Writing Brush Town

Updated:December 10,2020 L M S


The Huzhou writing brush is celebrated for its choice hair, well-trimmed contour and durable tip both at home and abroad. [Photo/VCG]

Located in Shanlian town, Huzhou city, East China's Zhejiang province, the Huzhou Writing Brush Town is a national 3A-level scenic area. With the charm of a water town in the Jiangnan region (the area south of the lower reaches of the Yangtze River), the town is the birthplace of Huzhou writing brush and silk culture, and was listed as a provincial characteristic town in October 2020.

The history of the Huzhou writing brush could date back to the Jin Dynasty (265-420). At that time, Shanlian people made a living by making brush pens. From the Yuan Dynasty (1271-1368) to the Qing Dynasty (1644-1911), almost every family in Shanlian town was engaged in the business, and there were many master craftsmen in the town. Meanwhile, with the development of certain techniques, the high quality Huzhou writing brush was put into mass production. 


A craftsman processes the hair of Huzhou writing brush pens in Shanlian town, Huzhou city, East China's Zhejiang province. [Photo/VCG]

In the early Republic of China (1912-49) more than 300 families, altogether 1,000 people, were engaged in the brush pen industry, with the annual production volume reaching 480,000. The craft of the Huzhou writing brush also attained perfection during that period. At present, Huzhou writing brushes made with traditional techniques enjoys tremendous popularity both at home and abroad.


The craftsmen examine their brush pens in Shanlian town, Huzhou city, Zhejiang province . [Photo/VCG]

The manufacturing technique has been passed on within many families. Currently, the Huzhou writing brush is a major traditional handicraft industry in Shanlian town, with annual production of over eight million brush pens. 

In 2005, the town was awarded the title of "capital of the Huzhou writing brush in China", and in 2006 the craft of Huzhou writing brush making was listed as a national intangible cultural heritage. Since 2011, Huzhou Writing Brush Town has been named "the hometown of Chinese folk culture and art" twice by the Ministry of Culture and Tourism.