Chinese traditionally used screen fans since the 2nd century BC. The Japanese are credited with inventing the folding hand fan in the 8th century, and they became in use in China during the 9th century. The folding fan was popular in China during the Ming dynasty (1368-1644). Most fans during that period were made in Hangzhou (a beautiful lake city located south of Shanghai). During the 1600s the Chinese folding fan was introduced to Europe, and became an important European society woman's accessory. The fans pictured here are made most generally from paper material, but the handles of each of the fans is made from wood. Some fans, such as the sandalwood fan, is made entirely from wood. There are many different traditional Chinese paintings and images on each of these Chinese fans.