How to Make a Chinese Kite
Created from silk and bamboo and lavishly hand painted, traditional Chinese kites exhibit intricate details and skilled craftsmanship. Nowadays, you can find mass produced kites in the traditional Chinese style, but they do not compare to handmade kites. You can choose to make your own Chinese kite using traditional or more basic materials.
Things You'll Need
- Bamboo or wooden rods
- Silk or paper
- Needle and thread or glue
- Kite or bridle string
- Paint brushes
Make Your Own Chinese Kite
Select straight dried bamboo sticks to create the frame of your kite. The knots should be as far apart as possible.
Choose pieces of silk to make your kite. Untreated silk will not work. You should buy treated silk that can be pulled taut with little give. If you are on a budget, you can also use plastic trash bags or butcher paper.
Create the frame for your kite and begin cutting the silk. If you are using paper, you may want to decorate the paper before you frame it to avoid tears and wrinkles.
Attach the silk to the frame by looping the fabric over the bamboo and using a zigzag stitch. The fabric should create a sleeve or tunnel around the frame. Make sure you maintain a uniform tension while sewing to ensure the fabric is stretched properly. Paper or plastic can be glued.
Link the Chinese kite sections using kite or bridle string to connect the bridles together. The bridle is a string that is permanently attached to the frame that has a tow point where the flying or connecting string is attached.
Decorate the kite using paint or fabric markers. Chinese kites tend to have elaborate designs or lettering, but you can use your imagination.
Add more flare to your Chinese kit. Produce several dragon or centipede rings at once by coiling a 5 cm. piece of bamboo into a pot of the desired diameter. The ends should overlap about 2 cm. Fill the pot with water just below the bamboo. Cover the pot and boil for about 30 minutes. Let the bamboo cool and cut into thin strips. Glue the overlapping ends.
- "Detached Wing" Chinese kites are designed to be disassembled and packed away easily. "Fixed Winged" kites tend to fly higher and remain sturdy, even after several uses.