Handan, Hebei, 8 Dec (ZXS) — Topic: “dolls” love to wear tiger head shoes: Hebei Yongnian handmade children’s shoes are popular in overseas markets

China News Agency reporter Wang Tianyi

Design patterns, soles, embroidered tiger faces, sewing the character “king”, tying tiger whiskers… It was the winter month, which was the agricultural leisure season in northern China, but the Xianghuan Handicraft Tiger Head Shoe Factory in Yongnian District, Handan City, Hebei Province was a busy scene. Dozens of female workers sat on different production lines, and between stitches and threads, tiger head shoes were made with cute and vivid shapes.

The traditional Chinese handicraft “tiger head shoes”, as a kind of practical and ornamental children’s shoes, because of its tiger head shape on the toe, is also given the auspicious meaning of driving away diseases and warding off evil spirits in the people. Located in the hinterland of the North China Plain, in the Yongnian District, as part of Handan, the ancient capital of the Zhao State during the Spring and Autumn and Warring States periods, the local people still retain the custom of wearing “tiger head shoes” for infants and young children, and most of the women in the village also sew tiger head shoes.

“We have tiger and tiger vitality, fish leaping dragon gate, dragon and phoenix chengxiang, zodiac signs, and our original crested shoes that won the ‘Chinese Culture Award’ excellence award, and there are about 70 or 80 kinds of children’s shoes…” said Wu Xianghuan, founder of Xianghuan Handicraft Tiger Head Shoe Factory.

Wu Xianghuan inherits the shoemaking technology of his father’s generation, with professional painting skills and computer jacquard technology, he boldly innovates the style of tiger head shoes. “In the past, it was all handmade, but now the computer jacquard is used to improve the quality of the shoe pattern, and the process of bottoming and hemming is still made by traditional hand, so the shoes are not only beautiful, but also comfortable to wear.” Wu Xianghuan said that the tiger head shoes they make have exquisite patterns and novel styles, and are quite popular in the domestic tiger head shoe market.

After several years of development, as Wu Xianghuan’s tiger head shoes became famous in China, she began to bring local rural women to become rich together. According to Wu Xianghuan, considering the actual situation of rural women, order-based production is mainly adopted, allowing them to do it at home and being paid by the piece, as long as they are willing to work, everyone can increase their income.

“In my spare time to pick up and drop off children and take care of the elderly, I sew a few pairs, and I can have an income of 3,000 yuan (RMB) a month, which is quite satisfying.” As one of the beneficiaries, Li Xiangna, a villager in Lizhuang Village, who is already a mother of three children, said.

With the rise of the Internet, in 2010, with the help of the local government, Wu Xianghuan registered an online store, and the sales of products were further opened, and at the same time, it also went overseas.

“A few years ago, a Canadian merchant contacted me online, saying that tiger head shoes look so cute, she wanted to buy two pairs for her baby, bring more by the way, and see if she could open the market in Canada.” Wu Xianghuan told the China News Agency reporter with a smile that after dozens of pairs of shoes were mailed to Canada, they were quickly snapped up, and her overseas business was “opened”.

“I didn’t expect that foreign children also love to wear Chinese tiger head shoes.” Wu Xianghuan said that the boom in traditional culture such as Tang style Hanfu has also brought new market opportunities for tiger head shoes, and many foreign customers also like to use tiger head shoes as souvenirs and collect them as handicrafts.

“Last year, our factory sold nearly 60,000 pairs of tiger head shoes.” Wu Xianghuan said that now the tiger head shoes they make are not only famous in China, but also popular in Canada, the Philippines, the United States, Norway and other countries and regions.

The reporter of the China News Agency learned from the Yongnian District Government that under the guidance of the government, more than 600 rural women, the elderly and the disabled have achieved flexible employment by making tiger head shoes and other children’s shoes, relying on traditional handicrafts to “embroider” a road to prosperity in the new countryside. (End)