This film is part of Free

Shantou 1 c.1932

Captivating amateur shots of a family of carpet-makers in south-east China.

Amateur film 1932 2 mins Silent


These intriguing images, shot by an amateur filmmaker, show his own family rug company in Guangdong Province, south-east China. Infinite wool and many of the carpet-making processes are shown. The inquisitive labourer, looking wearily into the camera, dyeing yarn, and the decidedly young boys weaving prove especially captivating.

The Eng family moved to the UK in the 1920s; this footage was shot on one of their many return visits to their family textiles business in Shantou, on the coast of the South China Sea, just west of the mouth of the Han River. The cameraman (or his equipment) struggles at times in the dim light of the cramped workshop, but this film gives a powerful taste of this tiny but busy cottage industry.