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Aiyindin Israyil: I want to master the skills of Atlas silk weaving

On March 6, 2022, the sun of the early spring was cast on the yard of Aiyindin Israyil, a villager of Sangeqiao Village at Lukeqin Town in Shanshan County, Turpan City, northwest China’s Xinjiang. The yard was organized, with two Atlas silk looms settled on two sides.

After the day’s field work, Aiyindin came in front of his looms and checked the finished part of Atlas, then started weaving in front of the looms, soon, the sound came out from the yard.

The sixty-five-year-old Aiyindin has been attracted by the beautiful colors of Atlas silk since he was a child. He was apprenticed to masters in different places to learn atlas silk-making skills and made a special trip to Jiya Township in Hotan City to visit and study.

“Atlas silk is a kind of ancient silk, and as colorful as peacock’s feathers, and I want to master this skill through my own efforts.”said Aiyindin.

Affected by Aiyindin, his families have also engaged in the work of weaving Atlas silk. While teaching his families, he always tells them to take care of details such as the matching of patterns and colors with no perfunctoriness.

Aiyindin works in front of the looms every day. “I feel satisfied when I see colorful patterns are created by my own hands.” He always talks about Atlas silk with a big smile on his face. According to him, the elaborate patterns are inspired by life, such as flowers, grass and trees in our surroundings, and pigments producing beautiful colors are from nature, which is one of the reasons that Aiyindin likes Atlas silk. “It reflects our life, now everyone lives a better life, Atlas decorates our life with more aesthetics.” said Aiyindin.

Today’s Sangeqiao Village is devoted to developing its cultural tourism, showing a prosperous scene integrating organized and spacious government-subsidized houses, smooth asphalt roads and comfortable living environment. To build a characteristic new village, the village positively accepted the advice from villagers and architect craftsmen, and Aiyindin also wants to make full use of this chance to let Atlas silk come into tourists sights.

“Tourists like visiting here and taking pictures. My yard was reconstructed during the recent renovation of my house, which has become more spacious right now. I want to add some new experiential programs to let tourists feel the first-hand fun of making Atlas silk by their own hands.” He also said that he would offer learning lessons for villagers, so as to let them have a new way to increase their income by making Atlas silk.