Su Shan, which means "fan" in Suzhou, includes silk fans, folding fans and sandalwood fans. They are beautifully made and also called "Elegant Fans".
Silk fans are also called Round Fans. They are fine and elegant with paintings, calligraphy or embroidery on the fans, all of which are unique. On the handles of the fans, there are colored drawings or patterns. The fans are made of plain bamboo, princes bamboo, ivory, or hawksbill, which is refined and not vulgar.
Folding fans can collapse. The fan's bones can be round, square, pointed, bamboo and so on. The techniques of fan making are also varied and depend on the fan maker.
Scholars in Suzhou are fond of drawing and inscribing poems on the silk fans and folding fans. Paintings on the fans are an art. They are vivid peonies or landscapes about poetic subjects. Therefore, the name of Elegant Fan matches the reality.
Sandalwood fans are one kind of folding fan, but the bones of the fans are made of sandalwood, which began in China. The patterns can vary, such as "Pulling Flowers", "Pyrograph", "Drawing", which are its unique features. Pulling Flowers is to pull the thread to form bare flowers. For example, the work of "the Goddess Gives out the Flowers", which has more than 15,000 eyelets, is exquisitely carved and fine. Pyrograph is to draw with a stylus on the sandalwood without any draft. Drawing is to use a brush pen on the silk. The sandalwood fans made in Suzhou are preferred by people both inside and outside of China.