Chinese Embroidery, a folk art with a long tradition, occupies and important position in the history of Chinese arts and crafts. It is, in its long development, inseparable from silkworm-raising and silk-reeling and weaving.
China is the first country in the world that discovered the use of silk. Silkworms were domesticated as early as 5,000 years ago. The production of silk thread and fabrics gave rise to the art of Chinese embroidery. According to the classical Shangshu (or Book of History), the "regulations on costumes" of 4,000 years ago stipulated among other things "Chinese dresses and skirts with Chinese designs and Chinese embroideries". This is evidence that Chinese embroidery has become and established art by that remote time.
In 1958 a piece of Chinese silk was found in a tomb of the state of Chu of the Warring States Period (475-221 B.C.).It is embroidered with a Chinese dragon-and-phoenix design. More than 2,000 years old, it is the earliest piece of Chinese embroidery ever unearthed.
The art became widespread during the Han Dynasty (206 B.C.-220 A.D.); many embroidered finds date back to that period.
Today, Chinese silk embroidery is practiced nearly all over China. The best commercial Chinese products, it is generally agreed, come from four provinces: Jiangsu (notably Suzhou), Hunan, Sichuan and Guangdong, each with its distinctive features.
Embroidered works have become highly complex and exquisite today. Take the double-face embroidered "Cat", a representative work of Suzhou embroidery...Read More