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The Four Famous Embroideries in China

A young girl in the boudoir, embroidering flowers with needles.

The virtuous ancient woman in my impression,

In the waiting room, carrying needles and thread, embroidering flowers,

Carrying a hint of affection within.

The Four Famous Embroideries in China

Embroidery has a history of over 2000 years in China.

How much do you know about Chinese embroidery?

Do you know what the four famous embroideries are?

The next thing I will introduce to you is,

The Four Great Chinese Embroideries are breathtaking.

1. Su Embroidery (Jiangsu)

Suzhou embroidery is a general term for embroidery products in the Suzhou region, originating in the area of Wu County in Suzhou. It has now spread to Wuxi, Changzhou and other places. There were records of Su embroidery production as early as the Three Kingdoms period (220-280 AD).

The Four Famous Embroideries in China

Su embroidery is known for its seamless color matching, uniform ironing, distinct silk threads, and light and loose hair pieces. And her most noteworthy characteristics are “flat, even, harmonious, smooth, even”.

The Four Famous Embroideries in China

The embroidery surface is smooth and smooth, with delicate needles and fine threads, and elegant and refined colors.

The Four Famous Embroideries in China

Su embroidery mainly uses natural silk threads that can be split into threads. Due to the different thicknesses of the silk threads, it is easier to depict lively and lively details, achieving stunning artistic effects!

The Four Famous Embroideries in China

The stunning Suzhou embroidery double-sided embroidery features the same base material on both sides, with identical contours and delicate and exquisite patterns, reflecting the highest level of Suzhou embroidery skills.

2. Xiang Embroidery (Hunan)

Xiang embroidery is a general term for Hunan embroidery products with distinct Hunan Chu cultural characteristics centered around Changsha, Hunan. Originating from folk embroidery, it has a history of over 2000 years.

The Four Famous Embroideries in China

Xiang embroidery takes Chinese painting as its essence, using needles instead of brushes and thread to fade colors, fully exerting the expressive power of needlework and forming its own unique style. Xiang embroidery is mainly made from pure silk, hard satin, soft satin, transparent yarn, nylon, and other raw materials, paired with various colored silk and velvet threads.

The Four Famous Embroideries in China

The prominent features of Xiang embroidery are rigorous composition, realistic image, vivid colors, strong texture, and a combination of form and spirit, making it highly artistic.

The Four Famous Embroideries in China

The double-sided all different embroidery “Mulan” embroidered screen is based on famous lines from “Mulan Ci”. On one side, there is embroidery that reads “Traveling thousands of miles to the military… Cold light shining on iron clothes”, and on the other side, there is embroidery that reads “When the window manages the clouds, yellow stickers are applied to the mirror.” It is vivid and realistic, truly stunning!

3. Shu Embroidery (Sichuan)

Shu embroidery, also known as “Sichuan embroidery”, is a general term for embroidery products centered around Chengdu, Sichuan. Shu embroidery is one of the embroidery varieties with the longest inheritance time in China, which can be traced back to the ancient Shu Sanxingdui civilization at the same time as the Xia Dynasty civilization in the Central Plains. The earliest record appeared in the Western Han Dynasty, when the craftsmanship was already quite mature.

The Four Famous Embroideries in China

Embroideries from Sichuan naturally cannot do without the theme of the “national treasure” giant panda. The Shu embroidery technique is rigorous and precise, emphasizing the use of needles. The needle techniques vary greatly, with neat and smooth stitches, light and soft color blending, and a rich degree of integration between virtual and real elements. It has a strong local color.

The Four Famous Embroideries in China

Representative work of Shu embroidery: “Lotus Carp”

The characteristics of Shu embroidery are vivid images, bright colors, and rich three-dimensional sense; Short needles are fine and dense, with even stitches, bright lines, and rich variations.

The Four Famous Embroideries in China

In terms of embroidery techniques, the double-sided color and shape embroidery, which represents the highest level of Shu embroidery, has completely different patterns and colors on both sides, each with its own unique charm. A screen with two sides of scenery, isn’t it unique?

4. Yue Embroidery (Guangdong)

Yue embroidery, also known as “Guang embroidery”, is a general term for handmade silk thread embroidery with Chaozhou and Guangzhou as production centers in Guangdong Province. It includes two major branches: “Chao embroidery” and “Guang embroidery”.

The Four Famous Embroideries in China

The biggest feature of Cantonese embroidery is its full and complex composition, strong decoration, rich and bright colors, presenting a magnificent and lively scene.

The Four Famous Embroideries in China

National level inheritor Chen Shaofen’s Cantonese embroidery work: “National Colors and Heavenly Fragrance”

Cantonese embroidery has a wide range of themes and unique Lingnan characteristics. For example, dragons, phoenixes, peonies, hundred birds facing phoenixes, and excellent fruits from southern countries (such as lychees).

The Four Famous Embroideries in China

Cantonese embroidery is still a popular “national ritual” both domestically and internationally. Between 1979 and 1981 alone, Chaozhou embroidery products provided the country with 250 sets of gifts for international exhibitions, of which only the Chaozhou embroidery factory provided 198 pieces, receiving high praise from various sectors at home and abroad.

Technological development is advancing rapidly,

Xiuniang has passed down generations after generations,

The quantity seems to be rapidly decreasing

In the 21st century,

How many people can still do needlework?

May this exquisite traditional skill,

This brilliant treasure of folk art,

Beautiful and immortal.

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