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The History, Language and Uses of a Fan: What Do You Mean With A Fan?

In Spain, fans are used by men and women alike, offering a popular amenity that help beat the heat in a simple and sustainable way. Today on the Fuerte Blog, we talk with a crafter of fans who has offered to share her secrets.

Born in Bilbao, Ana Bruno operates a stall in the craft and solidarity market, which takes place every Friday at the Hotel Fuerte Marbella, from 10 am to 2 pm. Ten percent of each sale goes towards social projects promoted by the Fuerte Foundation.   

Ana Bruno, Fuerte Marbella

Ana Bruno, Fuerte Marbella

A History of the Fan in the World

It is believed that by the fifteenth century, between the years 1400-1425, fans had arrived in China from Korea and that great travellers brought them to Portugal, Spain and Italy. However, according to recent studies, it is believed that the first folding fans were introduced to Europe by the Jesuits. In France, Catherine de Medici was the fan’s greatest advocate in the court of Henry III. Thanks to the King’s adoption of the fan, it became very popular in local society.

However, the fan’s true period of splendour was during the reigns of Louis XIV and Louis XV, when it became an essential addition to a lady’s wardrobe. Then, they used luxury materials, including gemstones, taffeta from Florence (Italian fabrics were considered the most luxurious in the world), gold and precious metals. In the seventeenth century, fans made their appearance in England, but those were attached to a rigid handle and large, decorated with varied motifs, which were painted by renowned artists.

The Language of the Fan  

Today, fans are not quite so luxurious, but are much more fun. They are painted in bright colours and currently used by both men and women across Andalucia.

In addition to its utility and beauty, fans hide a secret language, which can transmit a ‘love’ code according to its position to the body. We explain that manoeuvre below:

The Language of the Fan *

The Language of the Fan *

*Image 1. I love you very much.  

Image 2.  Kiss me 

Image 3. I am shy, but I am ready 

Image 4. Follow me 

Image 5. I am single 

Image 6. I am taken

So enjoy the summer, but always have a fan within reach!

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