Cloud collar

The name “cloud collar” comes from the shape of this collar’s lobes, or petals, which are often layered. Women wore these collars over robes for special occasions. The cloud shapes represent abundance. At one time, the neck opening symbolized the Sky Gate (the entrance to heaven), and the lobes, pointing in four directions, represented the universe in miniature.

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What are the symbolic images embroidered on this collar and what do they mean?

responded: Apr 3, 2013

Posted by Christina (VIC224 Student)

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Chinese Cloud Collar 19th Century China This elaborately designed collar was worn by a Han woman of China, sometime in the nineteenth century for the purpose of personal adornment. The cloud collar, getting its name from its design, is filled with symbolic meaning. The outline and petals of the collar are seen as a representation of the universe, with the wearer’s head as the cosmic centre. Depicted throughout the collar are various symbols, representative of Chinese culture. Floral imagery is the most prominent of the icons on the collar, including embroidered peonies, orchids and lotus flowers. Other symbols on the collar include the swastika, a symbol of good luck and long life, and the butterfly, a symbol of beauty and marital bliss.

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