Oriental HandMade Chinese Silk Embroidery

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Stitching with thread or yarn to decorating a fabric, or other material, using a needle, is known as embroidery. It is an ancient art form. Chinese embroidery is thought to have existed for about 4,000 years, and Egyptian embroidery for about 3,000 years. Of course, there is the famous Bayeux tapestry, but that is relative primitive compared to Chinese embroidery, its importance being that of an historical document rather than a work of art.

A type of Oriental wall art resulting from the traditional Chinese skill of pulling fine strands of colored silk through a canvas creating a gorgeous piece of art known as silk embroidery. Commonly seen in the form of a framed, wall-hanging object and hence is an ideal gift, collectible, souvenir, home decoration or an office piece.

One of the first countries to transform silk embroidery into an advanced art form was China. Chinese Fine Art, especially the embroidery is appreciated worldwide due to the usage of special techniques and styles that set it apart from the embroidery created in other parts of the world.

A woman would be expected to be proficient at embroidery and that woman was admired, valued and respected if she was capable of creatinghigh-quality embroidery. Nowadays, high-quality embroidery are considered as equal to Chinese paintings. Throughout the years, embracing different needling methods have resulted in four distinctive Chinese embroidery styles. They are: -

1) "Su" embroidery: Known for its delicateness and elegance, this style originating in the Jiangsu province is usually very simple, highlighting a main theme. The stitching done is smooth, dense, thin, neat, even, delicate and harmonious and the thin thread is divided many times from the standard 64 strand thread, strands which are barely visible to the naked eye. Su embroidery products were the participated in the Panama World Fair, 1905.

2) "Xiang" embroidery: Using loose colorful threads, patterns are embroidered with the stitches being not as neat as the other embroidery styles. This one originated in the Hunan province and is done by mixing the various colored threads which displays a gradual change in color with a rich tone. Although developed from Hunan folk embroidery methods, Xiang embroidery also drew from Su and Yue embroidery. Derived from the traditional Chinese paintings of landscapes, human figures, flowers, birds and animals, the most common designs are lions and tigers. This embroidery won the best award in the Torino World Fair (Italy) in 1912 and the First Award in the Panama World Fair, 1943.

3) "Yue" embroidery: Rich and complicated in content with bright hues and strong decorative effects, it originated in Guangdong province. Smooth and even in texture, a magnificent three-dimensional effect is created by gold and silver cushion embroidery. This type of embroidery has a wide range of designs, the most common ones being birds, dragons, phoenixes and Sun worship.

4) "Shu" embroidery: Made with soft satins and colored threads and embroidered by hand, this one belongs to the Sichuan province. Stitching methods are varied and form a unique and innovative style. The various designs include flowers, birds, landscapes, fish, worms and human figures and the products comprise quilt and wall coverings, pillow cases, cushions, table cloths, scarves and handkerchiefs.

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