Traditional Roofing Magazine, a division of Joseph Jenkins Inc.

Tools, materials and supplies for slate and traditional roofing. Traditional roofing tools. Soldering bars, wire, irons, flux, and everything you need to solder for roofing or construction. Snowguards and rails for all types of roofs.

Issue 1 | Issue 2 | Issue 3 | Issue 4 | Issue 5 | Issue 6 | Issue 7 | Issue 8

Buy The Slate Roof Bible, 3rd Edition

Download Entire Issue as a PDF

Issue 2, Spring 2002

A Brief Look at
Chinese Roofing Slate

from John Xue

Slate has been identified and developed in some provinces in China:

1. Beijing: Men Tou Gou district, and Fang Shan district
2. Hebei Province: Man Cheng, Yi Xian, and Xu Shui areas in Bao Ding
3. Shaanxi Province: Zhen Ba and Ziyang in An Kang
4. Hubei Province: Zhu Xi and Zhu Shan area in the northwest of the Province
5. Shanxi Province: Wu Tai, Ding Xiang, Zuo Quan, Li Cheng, Ping Shun areas
6. Sichuan Province: Wan Yuan, Cheng Kou, Wu Xi, Ping Wu
7. Jiangxi Province: South part of the province
8. Zhejiang Province: An Ji, Xiao Xian

and also in Hunan, Yunnan, Guizhou, Guangxi provinces.

The color ranges from black to red, yellow, green, grey, blue, purple, etc. Most of the slate is used for decoration or "culture stone" as the local customers call them. Here are some of the general picture of the areas.

A Brief Look at Chinese Roofing Slate

Illustration above from the Slate Roof Bible, 3rd Edition

1. Beijing:

Slate from Men Tou Gou has been used for roofing for over 500 years. Most of the present production, about 80%, is exported for flooring, walls, roofing etc. The color varies: black, black grey, purple, green, jade green etc.

The green slate from Fang Shan is very popular. It is used for billiards table.

2. Shaanxi:

The slate vein runs for over 200 km eastwest with 50 km wide. The most of the slate was formed in the age from Ordovician to Cambrian periods. In this area, they have the beautiful, high quality black slate and 50% of national production capacity. People from Germany, France, Belgium, UK, Spain, as well as US have come to visit the area for sourcing, purchasing, investment etc.

3. Hubei:

Zhu Xi and Zhu Shan area is supposed to have the largest reserve of slate from Cambrian, Ordovician and Silurian periods. The color includes black, grey, bean green and green. But the overburden is large with average about 50 meters.

Although slate has been used for 500 years in China, yet as an industry it started about 20 years ago. The story goes like this: in early eighties when China initiated its open-door policy, one former Minister from Urban Construction Ministry saw the expensive "stone" being used on top of roofs when he was visiting the States. So when he came back, he assigned his associates to find the same stone to export. One of the first places identified is Ziyang in Shaanxi province.

However, it was not until the middle of nineties of last century that China started to realize that some slate was fading and some was not, and also there are other issues like water absorption and acid resistance for slate. I think that is the reason you found both good slate and poor quality slate in the same crates. With the introduction of new processing machines from Europe, as well as the quality control concept, China was able to produce good quality slate though with disappointing quantity.

A Brief Look at Chinese Roofing Slate

China slate quarry (above). Chinese green slate (below).

A Brief Look at Chinese Roofing Slate

Illustrations above from the Slate Roof Bible, 3rd Edition

Read more about Chinese Slate in the Slate Roof Bible, 3rd edition!

Source List of new roofing slate, including Chinese.

Send us an email!


Find us at Joseph Jenkins Inc.

Slate Roofing on Facebook

Slate Roofing Contractors Association on Facebook


Snow Guard Warehouse
All types and sizes of snowguards!

Mullane Eagle Snowguard


SOLDER WAREHOUSE - Your source for bar and wire solder, soldering irons, flux, and other soldering supplies.

Propane soldering iron sold at the Solder Warehouse.

Solder Bars


Roofing Fasteners

The award-winning book!

Slate Roof Bible, 3rd edition by Joseph Jenkins

America's best source!

Stortz Genuine slate cutter



Find it here.

Find contractors now.


Slate Roof Message Board


Slate Tools

Snow Guards

New Roof Slate

Salvaged Roof Slate

Ceramic Roof Tile

Asbestos Roof Tiles

Architectural Sheet Metal

Want to find something? Search our entire website!

All material herein © Joseph Jenkins Incorporated, all rights reserved.

Call us at 814-786-9085, M-F, 9-5, Eastern time, USA.