and Spanish fans that are loved as classic tastes for gifts and accessories around the world, to the Asian hand fans
that are not generally found in the local market, and the wholly unique personalized hand fans
that will give your special occasions a personalized appeal.
Our Selection: Over 150 Styles and 21 Colors Available
This section of AsianIdeas.com is your veritable host to quality handmade hand fans from Asia. We carry over 150 styles of hand fans, which you can find in varying sizes; eight (8) different types of materials, including wood, paper, silk, lace, plastic, straw or buri
, feather, and cloth; at least three (3) types, including the non-bending fans, folding fans, and battery fans; at least twenty-one (21) plain colors; and, nine (9) more colors with beautiful accents of auspicious Asian motif or Japanese-styled hand-painting.
Shopping for hand fans within your budget or that will match the first-class taste of your recipient is also an easy feat here on AsianIdeas as you can shop our hand fans wholesale and exquisite styles at premium price points are also available. We also create original designs for your custom hand fans or personalized wedding fans, and laser engraving is also offered on select hand fan styles, basically depending upon the color of wood underneath their paint. You can also try our DIY hand fans and battery-operated fans for kids to enjoy during their vacation or on their Asian party.
Finally, hand fan display stands to complete the most luxe-looking gift presentation, as well as plain white to Asian-styled gift boxes that will help to preserve both the vivid color and fragrance of painted wood or sandalwood fans, and fan pouches for the frequent traveler or the lady who loves to keep a hand fan handy wherever she goes also never run short here on AsianIdeas. Kids to grandma, men or women, and casual parties to formal weddings and events surely will rise in glamor with our great selection of hand fans and folding fans.
Types of Hand Fans by Materials
Asian hand fans and Oriental hand fans come in many different types of materials, which you can shop here on AsianIdeas.com.Paper Fans
An all-time favorite for special occasions, paper fans are usually cheap as they are fairly easy to make and their material can be easily sourced in a wide array of colors, so finding the one that meets both your budget and choice of color and style is quick and easy. As they are usually made of cardstock or cardboard, paper fans can very well serve your need for a cooling device up to warm summer weather, but if you think they are good for a few uses only, wait until you see our Asian paper fans, which are made from premium Japanese paper, Saa paper, or mulberry paper. They exhibit a unique paper texture, which would surely make you feel closer to nature and inspire you to keep them on a frame as an Asian souvenir or work of art.Lace Fans.
Lace fans can easily make it as a treasured collection, bridal fans, as a Spanish accessory, or a gift for a special lady because of the very fine and luxurious design of their lace fabric. Lace fans may be priced higher than your average hand fans because what you pay for them is basically the intricate handwork or lacework, which you may never
find anywhere else. If you are looking for lace fans that will keep you cool for a special outdoor event or while you are don in your heavy bridal dress, opt for thick-laced fans with fewer open holes as they tend to give more air over the thin-laced fans that feature a lot of open holes.Straw Hand Fans
Straw hand fans, or buri fans
, are heart-shaped fans with a weave-like surface. They are a native product of the tropical countries and handmade using the dried palm fronds of the buri
. Taking cue from the hot and humid weather of the tropics, straw hand fans can be highly relied upon for a cool and gentle breeze amidst a hot summer's day. While looking delicate and bulky, straw hand fans are actually durable and handy, you can even fold them inside a roomy handbag, and they are the perfect hand fans to complete the tropical setting of your wedding or barbecue party.Silk Hand Fans
Silk hand fans are made a thing of luxury by the elegant sheen of natural silk or the patterns of silk brocade, which makes them smart for a formal party setting. Due to the well-dyeing nature of silk, silk fans can keep their vivid color for a long time while the thickness of silk enables them to lend the same light to moderate breeze that cloth fans offer, which is enough to comfort your crowd amidst a humid atmosphere, or keep you cool when you travel under the hot summer's sun.Wood Hand Fans
Wood hand fans are completely made of natural wood, which essentially makes them durable and the perfect choice for hand fans as an everyday accessory. Their wooden ribs are frequently styled with striking cutouts that are often complemented with a colorful hand-painting and they create a sharp, snapping sound when flipped open. Generally, wood hand fans that are thicker and larger in size are considered more efficient in giving off a refreshing breeze enough to keep you cool over the summer months. While sandalwood hand fans are highly popular among their kind as they greet you with the musky smell of sandalwood, you surely won't go wrong also picking up painted wood fans, which give-off a delicately fragrant and refreshing breeze.Feather Fans
Feather fans are formed by a group of real or faux bird, ostrich, turkey, or goose feathers that are delicately matched and fixed on a wooden or plastic fan frame. While reminiscent of the earliest hand fans in Egypt, they are also popular in Chinese dances and imperial ceremonies to bring the inspiration of the phoenix, When used on special occasions, the inherently sophisticated design of feather fans make them standout as a statement piece, thus, they can let you rock a spectacular event with their exquisite avian-inspired design.Cloth Fans or Fabric Fans
Cloth fans or fabric fans are typically made of cotton cloth fabric, which come in a huge assortment of colors, patterns, and prints. While you and your wedding guests can easily take plain-colored cloth fans from the party tables to their office desk, you can also shake things up a little bit with cloth fans wedding favors or party souvenirs that feature prints, which aesthetically match the season or theme of your special occasion.
The Basic Types of Hand Fans
The generic term for hand fans that fold to a slender and rectangular shape and opens to the shape of a half moon, circle, or shell. Among the popular variations of folding fans are the:
- Cockade Fans. This type of folding fan opens to a complete circle and have thin, rectangular guardsticks that are usually made of metal with hollow interior that serves as the handle when the fan is opened and to where the fan's paper leaf, which is folded in accordion style, is hidden so that the hand fan folds to a compact design.
- Fontage Fans. A type of folding fan that opens to the shape of a shell and with center sticks that are longer than the guardsticks.
This type of hand fan, which includes the paddle fan, has a flat surface that is fixed to a handle.Battery Fans.
Also known as battery-operated fans, battery fans have tiny blades that are attached to a palm-sized battery compartment, and rotates when switched on and gives-off a gentle breeze.
The Main Parts of the Folding Fans
Know your hand fans like a pro with our quick rundown of the main parts of folding fans.Guardsticks. The first and last, or outer sticks, which are usually thicker, wider, and stronger. They serve as the main support of the folding fan, are usually designed elaborately, and are visible when the fan is closed.
Ribbing. The group of sticks that are secured in-between the guardsticks. Each rib of a folding fan consists of two parts: The sticks, which are the wider part that serve as the main skeletal framework and the ribs, or slips, which are the narrow part of the ribs to where the leaf of the paper fan, like cloth, paper, or silk, is attached.
Leaf. Considered as the main body of the folding fan, this refers to the sheet of paper, textile, or other material, that is mounted over the slips of the folding fan.
Rivet. The metal pin that secures the guardsticks and the hand fan ribbing together.
Brief History and Uses of Hand Fans in Asia
The Leaf and Feather Fans of Egypt
The earliest hand fans in Asia can be traced back to the leaf and feather fans of the Egyptians, which were big, fixed, semi-circular in shape, with long handles, and which were used in this desert country for providing a cool breeze, for driving away insects, blocking out the sunlight, and many others. Egyptian nobles frequently used them and made them more attractive with ostrich plumes and jewels, like the decorative hand fans discovered in Tutankhamen's tomb in ancient Egypt, thus, they became the symbol of royalty.1,2The Bamboo, Silk, Paper, and Silk Screen Fans of China
In China, a legend has it that hand fans were discovered when a farmer, who was irritated by lots of flies and mosquitoes, picked a big leaf with a long stem from a plant close by to drive the pests away. To his delight, his effort resulted in cooling air movements and scared the insects away.3
The earliest Chinese hand fans were aide-mounted, woven bamboo hand fans from the 2nd century B.C. They were designed with shorter handle so they can be carried around and used much more easily to strengthen the fire when making ceramics. Later, hand fans that were made of bamboo, paper, and silk were invented, which came to be called the traditional Chinese fans.
Screen hand fans, also known as bian mian
, were also used in China since the 12th century B.C.E for warfare rather than as fashionable cooling implements. Chinese artists also made hand fans as a canvas for writing poems and paintings, and the details of their design subsequently made the hand fans an indicator of social status, happiness, or an event.The Folding Fans of Japan
Japan is renowned as the home of the famous folding fans, which design is modeled after the wings of the bat, thus they are called komori
, which is the Japanese word for bat
In the early days, hand fans were widely used by the Japanese warriors as a weapon. In the 1500s, for instance, Japanese command troops used fans that are made from stick covered in black lacquer and with guards of bronze or iron that were supported by a heavy paper leaf upon which displayed a sun or moon device.5
Japanese hand fans are frequently depicted also in the image of a geisha, used as props in Japanese dances and performances, served as presents for special occasions, trays for holding gifts, or toys for children. The Japanese also believes that the top of the handle of the fan symbolizes the beginning of life while the ribs stand for the roads of life going out in all directions to bring good fortune and happiness.5References: