Character meaning is a whole topic in itself, but one of the simplest things is keeping the writing RIGHT SIDE UP! I have seen fabrics, tatoos, clip art and more that simply have things upside down - or worse yet - mirror image. In some cases all mixed up. Yes - I know they can be looked at as "artistic" - but if we did the same with English, we would get laughed at!
So to avoid the laughter, I found a quick "guide to writing" that can help you look at your fabric or whatever and perhaps determine if it is upside down. If it does not look like the strokes could be created using the rules below - you are probably looking at it upside down. Flip it over - check again. If it looks more reasonable - then you might have it right.
If you are still not sure - take a picture and email it to me - I will be glad to help out!
(thanks to Wikipedia for this great info)
The Chinese character meaning "person" (, Chinese: rén, Korean: in, Japanese: hito, nin; jin). The character has two strokes, the first shown here in dark, and the second in red. The black area represents the starting position of the writing instrument.
1. Write from left to right, and from top to bottom As a general rule, characters are written from left to right, and from top to bottom. For example, among the first characters usually learned is the number one, which is written with a single horizontal line: 一. This character has one stroke which is written from left to right.The character for "two" has two strokes: 二. In this case, both are written from left to right, but the top stroke is written first. The character for "three" has three strokes: 三. Each stroke is written from left to right, starting with the uppermost stroke:
This rule applies also to more complex characters. For example, 校 can be divided into two. The entire left side (木) is written before the right side (交). There are some exceptions to this rule, mainly occurring when the right side of a character has a lower enclosure (see below), for example 誕 and 健. In this case, the left side is written first, followed by the right side, and finally the lower enclosure.When there are upper and lower components, the upper components are written first, then the lower components, as in 品 and 襲.
Horizontal strokes that cut through a character are written last, as in 母 and 海.4. Diagonals right-to-left before diagonals left-to-right
Right-to-left diagonals (ノ) are written before left-to-right diagonals (乀): 文.5. Centre verticals before outside "wings"
Vertical centre strokes are written before vertical or diagonal outside strokes; left outside strokes are written before right outside strokes: 小 and 水.6. Outside before inside
Outside enclosing strokes are written before inside strokes; bottom strokes are written last: 日 and 口. This applies also to characters that have no bottom stroke, such as 同 and 月.7. Left vertical before enclosing Left vertical strokes are written before enclosing strokes. In the following two examples, the leftmost vertical stroke (|) is written first, followed by the uppermost and rightmost lines (┐) (which are written as one stroke): 日 and 口.
And just for the record (for those of you still reading) -the fabric pictured above was taken from an eBay auction - and is upside down - not mixed - but truly upside down. Funny that the same seller had the same fabric in a different color - shown the correct way...