Your Ultimate Guide to Qun Kua for your Chinese wedding

Your Ultimate Guide to Qun Kua for your Chinese wedding

Chinese is one of the ethnicities that has deep-rooted and long-existing cultures and traditions. When our ancestors came to Singapore, they have brought these practices with them and it has been preserved and passed down to our generations till today.

Chinese is one of the ethnicities that has deep-rooted and long-existing cultures and traditions. When our ancestors came to Singapore, they have brought these practices with them and it has been preserved and passed down to our generations till today.

The Kua is a popular choice of outfit for the traditional tea ceremony in Singapore. Some of us would rent them from our bridal studio, while others will have them tailor made. In this article, we will share with you more about the history and symbolism behind the kua and how you should care for them.

What’s Qun Kua

Kua (褂,guà) refers to the top while Qun (裙,qún ) refers to the bottom. It is also regarded as 龙凤褂, given that it is embroidered with dragon and phoenix.

Qun Kua – Back in the days

Qun Kua is a traditional costume, which can be traced back to the Ching Dynasty. In the past, there was a Chinese Canton Premier who has made a significant contribution to the country’s success. When his daughter got married, the emperor gifted his daughter a set of Qun Kua (top and bottom) that is embroidered with dragon and phoenix. At that time, dragon and phoenix can only be used by royalty and it symbolises power. This gift from the emperor was an ultimate glory. The premiere then gifted the Qun Kua to his daughter to be worn as her marriage dress. From then on, the tradition of wearing a Qun Kua for weddings has emerged.

Another fun fact: In the past, Qun Kua came in black for the top and red for the bottom. Check this out to take a look!

Qun Kua – Modern day, Today

In terms of Qun Kua today, it comes in bright red color for both the top and skirt. It is also embroidered with gold, silver, and beaded motifs. The amount of embroidery on the Qun Kua symbolises a family’s wealth.

As for design, there are different kinds of patterns and they all have different meanings. The more popular motifs and their meanings are

  1. Dragon and phoenix, Clouds: Harmony 
  2. Peony: Prosperity and wealth  
  3. Five Bats: Longevity, wealth, health, virtue, and love.
  4. Mandarin Ducks: Fidelity

As society and culture modernizes, modifications were made to the ceremonial dress which women wear for the wedding. Many brides today would wear modified qipao for their wedding.  Brands like Cinobi Cinobi and Dangbridal have found great success in designing and handcrafting beautiful traditional bridal gowns which pays homage to our heritage and history. They are well-known in Singapore for adding that modern twist to traditional chinese bridal gowns. These beautiful handcrafted gowns have continued to focus on the traditional cuts and design while using symbolic motifs. 

How to take care of your Qun Kua

In terms of the threads used to sew the motifs, the density of the thread varies from dress to dress, ranging from 30% to 98%. The higher the density or the more elaborate the embroidery is, and the pricer it gets.

Given that the thread and the beads used on the qun kua are so delicate, you ought to look for professional dry cleaning services to clean them for you. This prevents the motifs from getting damaged. During wear, nails, or any kind of sharp edges can easily cause pulled threads and scratches on the delicate silk material. 

Good and proper care of qun kua can last for a long time and many generations to come. In the past, people would even wear their own Qun Kua when their daughters or granddaughters get married. Thus, it is definitely worth the dollars to invest in a well-crafted qun kua which you can pass down to your future generations.

If you have any queries on how the dry cleaning works for the qun kua, you can always reach out to us here. Presto Drycleaners provides laundry and drycleaning pick up services and you can trust us with all your wedding needs. Book a pick up on our website or call our friendly staff at 6354 3277 if you have any enquiries!