The Suzhou fan has a long history. The most famous are sandalwood fan, silk mandarin fan and folding fan, all of which are known for fine making.
The folding fan derived its name from the action of closing and folding; furthermore because it needs to cast wide for use, so it is called “casting fan”. The fan bone is also called frame, taking material mainly from bamboo, as well as sandalwood, rosewood, boxtree, red sandal, ebony, Chicken wing wood, peach silk wood and mottled bamboo as well as ivory, hawksbill and other precious materials. The shape of the handle of fan bone is commonly called head shape, which includes big round head, small round head, cheese head, yulan head, qin, swallow-tail, bottle gourd and bottle etc in various colors. Simple and quaint works are the best. Fan bones at both sides are big bones made from carefully selected bamboos with less strings after procedures of washing, sunning, roasting and baking etc.
On the bolding fan are poems by men of letters. The making of fan leaves is also exquisite, for instance there are over ten procedures of opening material, scalping, papering, vitrioling and edging etc. In ancient times people favored clay golden fan leaves with writings and paintings by celebrities. A fan as such can be very precious.