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A non-sims question for a story I'm working on. I know there are a couple of people on my f-list who speak at least some Chinese and I've discovered through trial and some truly embarrassing errors that people are always better sources for language info than online translators.

I've got a bunch of English-speaking characters whose names follow certain patterns and I find myself in need of a plausible name for a non-USian/non-English-speaking/Chinese guy. I'm looking for a family name that will translate to something - almost anything - related to textiles and/or clothing manufacturing and design. It's important that it be a "real" name - doesn't have to be super-common, but something that wouldn't make a Chinese person roll their eyes at the absurdity of anyone having such a name if they were reading my story.

Examples in English:

Taylor (tailor)
Singer (like the sewing machine)
Weaver
Loomis (as in looms)

Taylor and Weaver probably are actually derived from those professions - Singer is certainly not, and Loomis...who knows? But that's the kind of relationship between word/name and field that I'm looking for. For instance, I could probably give one of my USian characters the last name "Dyer" and get away with it (it's pushing the edge of hokey, IMO, but it's a real name and it fits the criteria), but I'd never want to give anyone the name "Yardage" or "Scissors" because those aren't ever used as family names in English. Also, even though "Fiskars" and "Gingher" are actual family names in addition to being scissor manufacturers, I wouldn't use those because they're not at all common in the US.

So this is what I'm looking for:

1) Family name(s), relatively common - something the average Chinese speaker would recognize as a name, not just as a word -that are...
2) ...related in some way to the textile or clothing industries. Can be a brand name provided it fits the first criteria.
3) Because I am a stupid American, I need it written out/approximated in English translation.

I do realize that there just might not be a Chinese version of this sort of thing, or that the names/words in Chinese really aren't common enough to fit the bill - but at least then I will know that this is the case.

Any help will be very much appreciated.
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February 2010

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