The joy of rush weaving

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Juncus effusus, also known as common rush or soft rush, is a perennial grass often used for weaving hats and mats that grows in brackish environments near the sea or in estuaries.

Common rush is soft, tough, aromatic after drying, resistant to moisture, and repels odors, making it very suitable for weaving into everyday items. Therefore, in the early Qing Dynasty, Taiwanese people began using common rush to weave hats and mats, with large quantities being exported to Japan. The Dajia District of Taichung was once a major exporter of hats and mats, but following Taiwan’s economic boom, many people moved into the industrial sector, and weaving skills gradually began to die out.

Fortunately, with rush weaving facing an existential crisis, Providence University and Xinfu Community in Dajia have teamed up to systematically record every aspect of rush, from planting and weaving to finished woven products, ensuring that weaving skills will be passed on to future generations.

 

以下為中文對照

 

藺種幸福 編織夢想

藺草是多年生草本植物,生長在海邊或是出海口的區域,屬於半淡鹹水環境,是編織帽蓆的主要原料,也就是一般所稱的「蓆草」。

藺草的莖柔軟有韌性,曬乾後味道芳香,而且還能防濕除臭,非常適合編織成日常用品,所以在清初時期開始,台灣就已經利用藺草編織成帽蓆,大量外銷到日本地。而台中大甲更曾是帽蓆的外銷重鎮,隨著臺灣經濟起飛,人力開始投入工業社會,藺編技藝隨之凋零。

藺草編織正面臨消失危機,所幸靜宜大學與大甲區幸福社區,將藺草從種植到編織成品,有系統的紀錄下來,讓先民以往編織技藝,得以永遠傳承下去。

 

 

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