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Elderly tailor keeps the spirit of craftsmanship alive

By Ma Zhenhuan in Hangzhou| chinadaily.com.cn| Updated: August 3, 2023 L M S


Xu Shiqing cuts fabric in his shop in Anji county of Huzhou, Zhejiang province. It's a key step in making clothes. [Photo provided to chinadaily.com.cn]

Xu Shiqing, an elderly tailor in Anji county of Huzhou, Zhejiang province, has specialized in custom clothes for more than 40 years, earning a reputation for quality. 


An old-fashioned sewing machine has been used by Xu Shiqing for more than 30 years. [Photo provided to chinadaily.com.cn]

Equipped with a pair of scissors, a measuring tape and a sewing machine, Xu, 58, produces some 2,000 articles of clothing per year in his shop — the Old Xu Cloth Shop. 


Xu Shiqing adjusts clothes for one of his customers. [Photo provided to chinadaily.com.cn]

The key to tailoring lies in cutting cloth based on an accurate measurement of the customer, including his or her height, shoulder width, sleeve length and chest and hip circumference, Xu said.


Xu Shiqing does the ironing in his shop. [Photo provided to chinadaily.com.cn]

Over time, customers' requirements have risen — which is one of the reasons he keeps improving his skills. He fears that this traditional skill will vanish someday.


Xu Shiqing presents finished clothes to customers. [Photo provided to chinadaily.com.cn]

"Most of my customers are elderly," Xu said. "There are almost no young people." 

His relationship with customers over the past several decades through the clothes is profound. He insists on keeping the spirit of craftsmanship alive and honing his skills continuously. 

He also keeps up with the times. He has learned to make more fashionable clothes online.

Fang Xiaoying in Hangzhou contributed to this story.