Xiangyun Sha, (pronounced zie-ah-chun) also known as Liang Chou (pronounced ), is a traditionally made local silk from Shunde in Foshan city, Guangdong province of southern China. This particular silk is dyed naturally, using extracts from local plants. Liang Chou is made each year between May to November depending on weather conditions.
This very special silk is made using a 16 step traditional process. The silk is repeatedly dyed and dried naturally under the sun and in contact with the earth. This is an essential part of the process as the earth and the sun interact with the silk, giving the silk its unique character. The whole process takes ten days and is done entirely by hand. At the end of the 10 days, the silk is thin, soft, colorful, and resilient. The silk is of such high quality that even decades later it still appears like new.
In recent years, this traditional process has been gradually dying out, as it was not profitable. However, the local government has now granted the silk the National Level Intangible Cultural Heritage label to preserve this ancient and natural method of silk production.