The unprecedented prevalence of folding fans marked one of the significant developments in social customs in the Ming dynasty. Folding fans made in Suzhou and Sichuan were the most famous ones in the late Ming. Suzhou folding fans were renowned for fan leaves decorated with calligraphy and painting and for delicate fan frames, while Sichuan folding fans were famous as tribute to the imperial court. The latter were usually abbreviated as “Chuan fans” or “Shu fans” in Ming sources. In a broad sense, Chuan fans also included folding fans in the Sichuan style made in other places in the late Ming. The history, features and culture of Chuan fans have not been fully examined for two reasons. First, past research has mainly focused on literati fan calligraphy and painting and the fan-making craft in Jiangnan. And, second, Chuan fans had close association with the court, but the tastes of Ming court has been generally disregarded by scholars as lacking in cultural depth. Drawing on texts and images, this essay sorts out the history and characteristics of Chuan fans, and links them with the folding fans excavated from Ming tombs, which feature golden leaves without calligraphy and painting. This paper also explores the connections between Chuan fans and those produced in Japan, Suzhou, Hangzhou, and Rongchang, and considers the broader place of Chuan fans in the history of Chinese folding fans. Furthermore, this essay explores the social and cultural implications of Chuan fans in the Ming dynasty as local specialties, tributes, bestowals, gifts, commodities and so on. Chuan fans generally appeared in the early Ming, and then became tribute goods as well as trendy items. Representing luxury folding fans that did not have painting or calligraphy, Chuan fans were no less important than the art-adorned Suzhou folding fans. indicating the rich diversity of Ming folding fan culture. Chuan fans also had a deep influence on the subsequent development of Hangzhou folding fans. By the late Ming, Chuan fans had already been closely connected with many aspects of Ming society. As the Ming dynasty fell, Chuan fans also declined, thus remaining of the unique elements of Ming material culture.