"Tradition x Modernity : The makings of a Khu Khu fan in 7 Steps"

"Tradition x Modernity : The makings of a Khu Khu fan in 7 Steps"

Making a fan in the traditional way is a fascinating, long and complex process. In order to shed some light on this wonderful artistry take a look at the following 7 steps for a better understanding of how it works. 

Step One - Wood heated in an oven in a block. 

All fans start out as a humble block of wood. Khu Khu fans use a beautiful MONGAL wood which has a lovely, rich, deep brown colour with a pretty grain. 

Mongol Wood Warmed in the Oven to prepare for slicing.

Step Two - The block of wood is placed in a cutting machine

This machine cuts the whole block into very fine pieces. 

Wood cutting machine


Wood into the pieces

Stage Three - Wood pieces cut into smaller rectangular shapes

Before the pieces take on their final 'fan' shape, they are cut into more manageable rectangular shapes with a special tool. 

Wood pieces cut into smaller rectangular shapes

Stage Four - A hole is punched into the thin  rectangular pieces for the rivet "eye"

Hole punched into wood where the rivet will go.


Stage Five -The rectangular pieces become fan-shaped

The rectangular pieces are placed next to a block of wood with a surface that takes on the form of the fan. When the sanding machine moves along this block, it polishes down  the rectangular pieces so that they too take on the right shape. 

The rectangular pieces take the shape of fan pieces.

Stage Six  - Trimming the sticks where the fabric will go

This clever machine slices the top part of the sticks where the fabric will go so you are left with just the inner section, to the left and right of this the fabric needs to pass and fold. 

Stage Seven - Mounting the Fabric Onto the Sticks

Possibly the most complicated part of fan-making is the mounting of the fabric. This part is done by a 'teledora' and must be done by hand. How the fabric is mounted depends on a lot of factors -  the style and type of the fan, the number of sticks, the shape of the sticks but one thing remains the same every time; the fabric is folded between two pieces of card that have the correct concertinaed creases so that it takes on those folds; it is then glued to the sticks and the excess trimmed away to leave a beautiful and neat little wonder.  

teladora woman mounting fabric onto a fan

placing fabric in between the creased concertina shaped card

fabric into concertina card, the movement

chopping the excess off the fabric when mounting a hand-fan

final reveal of the mounted fan

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