Origin of “Zhengxi Tang” and “pepper”
In the eighth year during Xianfeng Emperor’s reign, the Taiping army invaded Wuyuan County, and Zuo Zongtang led the army to suppress it. Because most soldiers can't adapt to the humid environment in Wuyuan County, diseases occur frequently, especially foot diseases, which made it difficult for them to move forward. Zuo Zongtang was very anxious and invited the squire Hong Jun to introduce the local "immortal". Hong Jun recommended Zhu Wenyu to him. After receiving the order, Zhu remembered the experience of buying medicine in Shu Region (nowadays Sichuan Province).
Thirty-eight years ago, that is, in the first year during Daoguang Emperor’s reign, he was still a clerk in a medicine shop. He drove alone for more than two months and traveled more than 3,000 miles to Sichuan to buy medicine. Everything went well and he came back with a full haul. It was rainy June and I was caught in a flood on the way. I was hurt and the carriage was destroyed. When he woke up, he knew that he had been lying in the mud, arms tightly holding the baggage with him. In the baggage, in addition to some silver, there are two pairs of mother's hand-made cloth shoes and superior pepper bought in Sichuan to pay back his mother. He got up, washed his feet, which had been mouldy and inflamed for days, put on new shoes, and walked home. Six or seven days later, he was amazed that his feet were healed. He was sure that the shoes that soaked in pepper water must have helped him. After returning to Wuyuan, he continued to practice medicine as an apprentice. After more than 20 years of hard work, he became a well-known doctor in the local place.
The soldiers' condition was so similar to his that he was reminded of pepper. Therefore, he referred to "Han Xiangzi's method of cooking robes and shoes", and took pepper as the main medicinal material, supplemented by Chinese medicine such as Poria, Cyrtomium fortune, as arum and Saposhnikovia divaricate to decoct soup and boil cloth. Hong Jun organized more than 500 people to make shoes day and night. Seven days after putting on their new shoes, the soldiers were cured of their foot disease, and their fighting capacity was greatly strengthened and finally won the final victory.
In the eleventh year during Xianfeng Emperor’s reign, Zhu Lvfeng, the son of Zhu Wenyu, abandoned medicine and started a shoe shop. Adhering to the ancestor's instruction that "a book is not easy to write, a man is not easy to do, and a man who wants to do right should have a right footpath first", he named his shoe shop as “Zhengxi Tang”. The shoes made by him in the same way were not mildewed, smelly, and disease free, therefore called “pepper shoes”, which were renowned in Anhui Province, Jiangxi Province and Zhejiang Province at that time. Not until Guangxu Emperor’s reign that the “Pepper Shoes” were increasingly weaker and finally be forgotten by the later generations.
Zhu Jiang can't remember how many times he has heard this story from his grandmother, but it is still fresh in his mind. After more than 20 years struggling in Wenzhou City, he made some achievements and set up "Jiangxi Zhengbo Industrial Co., Ltd." to specialize in making cloth shoes after returning to Wuyuan County. In addition to meeting the needs of foreign businessmen, he has been digging, sorting and testing the formulas of our ancestor's pepper shoes through various pipelines, and achieved satisfactory results in the summer of 2014. Thus, for the purpose of “Making shoes for the Chinese”, “Wuyuan Zhengxi Tang Shoes Industry Co., Ltd.” was established. Two brands, "Zhengxi Tang" and "Pepper Shoes" were registered, so as to achieve a double harvest in the field of tradition and fashion.
Description of the process
Kesi silk, with raw silk as the warp thread and colored cooked silk as the weft thread, was weaved with several small shutters according to the pattern described in advance. Its shape is like a knife cut, so it is also known as carved silk. The finished pattern is the same on both sides. It is often used as the long screen of rolls and hung in the court.
Song Brocade originated from the Song Dynasty and is also called "Suzhou Song Brocade" because its main producing area is in Suzhou City. The Song brocade is endowed with the "champion of splendid embroidery". Together with the Nanjing Brocade and the Sichuan brocade, the Song brocade is honored as one of China's three famous brocade. Zhengxi Tang's Song brocade series pursue the perfection of fabric technology and inherit the ancient method with regard to the technology of Song brocade.
Zhengxi Tang’s Old Beijing Cloth Shoes Series adopted the most traditional high-grade fabrics—formal dress woolen. It is made of bristles, hair, wool and other hairs and is made by boiling, drawing and spinning. Its biggest characteristic is that it will not be stained with oil or soil. When you touch the vamp with your hand, you feel that there is a layer of fuzziness on the vamp. It is the most traditional high-grade cloth shoe fabric.
Summer cloth, also known as Lizzie cloth, raw cloth, is made of pure ramie fiber by hand. In the old days, it was used for making summer clothes and mosquito nets. Tao Yuanming, a poet in the Eastern Jin Dynasty, wrote in his poem Za Shi that “Yu Dong Zu Da Bu, Cu Xi Yi Ying Yang”. It means that coarse cloth is enough to keep out the cold in winter and block the sun in summer. It can be seen that as early as the Eastern Jin Dynasty, there had been summer cloth.
Tie-dye, known in ancient times as Za Xie, Jiao Xie, Jia Xie or Ran Xie, is a traditional and unique Chinese folk dyeing process. Blue and white are used as the main colors to create the meaning of primitive simplicity by contrast. And the combination of blue and white often gives people a sense of elegance like "blue and white porcelain", and peace and tolerance is more reflected in the tie-dyed sky.