Su Embroidery Research Institute

                                            Su Embroidery


Suzhou is close to the Taihu Lake, south of the Yangtze River. It has a temperate climate. Since ancient times, local women have kept up the habit of embroidery. Therefore Su Embroidery is an age-old traditional craft in China. It is one of the four famous types of embroidery in the country.

Su Embroidery has a long history. There are a great many embroiderers. We have collected pieces of embroidery dating back in the Warring States Period and the Han and Tang dynasties.

All the families in the rural areas of Suzhou have been engaged in sericulture over the centuries, providing quality materials for the Su Embroidery. Thanks to the efforts made by embroiderers generation after generation. Su Embroidery has become one of the most representative arts and crafts in China. It is characterized by delicate skills, great variety and clear relation.

It is extremely important to select proper material and stretch a piece of silk on an embroidery frame. It is necessary to select the proper material before we stall embroidery. For instance, we have to use gauze to embroider goldfish. We use satin or taffeta for single-faced embroidery. We also use taffeta for double-faced embroidery or other types of embroidery, because taffeta is of close texture and the embroidery won’t be out of shape.

Su Embroidery is closely related to the age-old culture of Suzhou. An embroiderer can produce a fine piece of work only after a painter draws a good painting. When she does the piece of double-faced embroidery, she applies binding stitches instead of tieing knots. The end of the thread is hidden. Embroiderer uses the needle in a vertical way so that the thread on the other face won’t be punched.

It marked a step forward from single-faced embroidery to double-faced embroidery. When they were very skilled in single-faced embroidery, our embroiderers wondered if they could embroider the pattern of a cat on one face and the pattern of a dog on the other face. Experiments showed that it was possible.

Cooperation between two embroiderers was most important. Before she begins her work, a skilled embroiderer carefully observes and studies the whole painting. She must be meticulous in depicting all the details including the muscles and different shades of color.

In a long process of development, Su Embroidery has become a folk craft for people to make a living, a craft of beautiful patterns, delicate colors and varied stitch work. It can depict landscapes , pavilions, flowers, birds and figurines.

Su Embroidery is a kind of exquisite articles of daily use. It is also a kind of super work of art providing an aesthetic taste. Inherited by embroiderers from generation to generation, Su Embroidery has been collected by more and more people across the world.

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