Chinese Kite History
Chinese kites have existed for around two thousand years, and the art of making it has been tested for a long time. Kites have commonly known to be originated from China although no one is sure who invented it. Others believe that it was created by a Greek named Archytas about 400B.C., while some historians believe that around 200 years later by Han Sin, a Chinese general. The Chinese kites
was at first used in military affairs and eventually used for art and entertainment purposes. It became an inspiration to the Wright Brothers in 1904 for making the first manned airplane. Making and flying kites became a well known pastime in China, Japan, Korea, and other countries in Far East.
The Japanese likes the sport known as the Kite Fighting wherein large numbers of people play at one time. Flying kites is a well known hobby in many countries at the Western world. Kite tournaments are being held in the United States in many cities during spring. Kites are also being used in scientific experiments in Europe and United States. Kites' Day is usually celebrated in China every ninth day of the ninth month wherein all the people of all ages try to fly kites on that day.
How to Make a Chinese Kite
There are four parts involving in the construction or making of a Chinese kite. First is the framing or assembling together of the bamboo sticks that will be used as the kite's frame. On this stage the selection of bamboo, cutting bamboo, bending bamboo and putting them together to make up as the frame. Second is the paperhanging wherein the selection of material to be used, silk or paper, cutting out of the paper and paperhanging. Third are the color drawing wherein the maker is going to draw a picture, outlining, coloring and decorating the materials. Lastly is the flying of the kite. Looking for the right location and weather involves on this stage. The bamboo strips are usually used as the frame of the Chinese kite for it is exceptionally light, strong and flexible.
There are lots of frames shapes that are being used such as birds, butterflies, dragonflies and other non-winged insects like centipedes. Other artisans want to go beyond the usual shapes and create kites that are a product of their imagination. Symmetry is very important to take into consideration in making a kite or else the kite will not fly well as you expect it.
The first kites were actually made of light wood and formed like a shape of a bird. Chinese kites were customarily made out from bamboo and silk and later on a strong, thin, colored paper is also being used as a material. Silk is still being used by the best kite-makers and almost Chinese kites are made out of bamboo and nylon or tissue paper.
Silk is considered as beautiful, but expensive and delicate material for a kite sail material, while the paper sail is quite affordable and practical to use, and gives a great effect as a decoration. The type of paper used for kites is thin and fibrous which lessens weight and ensures strength. After the sail material has been glued to the kite's frame, it is then ready for decoration. Any design will do, others paint it with some images, geometric figures or even a calligraphic character.
One great thing about the Chinese silk kite is that it does not only serve as a great pastime, but they can also provide any home with a decorative accent. Creating a Chinese silk kite at home can provide a great time to bond with your families and friends, and even adds color and enjoyment in making a Chinese silk kite.
The traditional Chinese kites usually have a complex designs and delicately crafted by skilled artisans. Today, there are lots of kites being produced but nothing can compare to the kites being made by your hands. Try to make your own Chinese kites using some basic materials.
In making Chinese kites, it brings out the artistic side of you and your children as well. This will be a perfect crafting activity with your children.
In flying your Chinese kites, there are certain safety rules that need to be observed or followed. Do not try to fly your kite near any electric wires or poles, and if your kite is trapped on a wire do not even think about of rescuing it. Do not fly your kite in the rain and do not use any metal in creating your kite. Metals attract electricity and lastly do not try to fly your kite near the edge of a steep slope.
Here AsianIdeas.com, we bring you various Chinese silk kite designs to make your kite making and flying enjoyable and memorable. Make your choice now and choose the right design that best suits your taste.