We teach how to make Su embroidery to silk embroidery lovers around the world. When you come to us to learn the silk embroidery, we will arrange a skilled embroidery lady who has been doing silk embroidery for more than 40 years to teach you how to make Su embroidery. We have a 15-day course for the silk embroidery learners. It is US $699, including 15-day personal learning (one teacher to one student), silk fabrics, silk
threads and slate frame.
If you are interested in learning Chinese silk embroidery
at Su Embroidery Studio, please feel free to contact
us to get more information.
CHINESE EMBROIDERY COURSE IN SUZHOU from Sally
An article from Textile Society of Hong Kong
February 2000 Volume 8 Issue 1
When I moved to Hong Kong six years ago I was
already a textile enthusiast but had focused more on
weaving than embroidery. My first trip into China
was with the Textile Society of Hong Kong and as we
explored the cloths of Shanghai, Hangzhou, Nanjing
and Suzhou I admired the intricate brocades and
extremely fine kesi weaves but it was the beautiful
embroidery that increasingly caught my eye.
Chinese embroidery has a history that dates back
4000 years. By the Tang dynasty (618-OO7AD) it had
been refined to such an extent that it took on a
painterly quality made possible by using an array of
stitches and a colorful palate of very fine silk. I
soon started collecting the small pockets and purses
popular in the Qing dynasty. They were small textile
pieces that depicted auspicious motifs or scenes
from Chinese stories and were presented as gifts at
New Years and special celebrations. The purses
served a wide range of uses with specific shapes for
fans, seals, watches, eyeglasses, lucky amulets etc.
The purses provided inspiration for design to create
my own embroideries but I knew that I was a novice
trying to duplicate very sophisticated works of art.
Last spring I noticed an advertisement in a textile
publication for a Chinese embroidery course given in
Suzhou, China. I quickly signed up for the
September, 1999 course.
Eight women from seven countries gathered in Suzhou
for the first session at the China International
Training Center for Weaving and Embroidery. Turid
Uthaug the director of the Danish Weaving Center and
an expert on Chinese Textiles had spent years
planning and negotiating all the details involved in
having foreigners participate in what had previously
been exclusively taught to Chinese.
We were welcomed to The Silk Museum by their
director Professor Qian Xiao Ping where the classes
were held and taught by experts in weaving and
embroidery. The Silk Museum has excellent exhibits
of ancient textiles, a room of silk worms, and a
mulberry tree garden. The best room includes working
demonstrations with skilled craftsmen reeling silk,
creating embroidery, kesi weaving, weaving brocade
on a draw loom, and weaving velvet on another draw
loom where the pile is cut after every couple of
weft picks. These exhibits would be visited again
and again by the participants.
Six of us concentrated on embroidery and two focused
on kesi weaving. All of us were surprised and
delighted by the piles of silk thread for us to
choose from for our sample and practice work. There
were hundreds of colors, every imaginable hue and
shade. The workdays were divided into morning and
afternoon work sessions with a half-hour break each
session devoted to the learning of Tai Chi. We all
looked forward to this challenging change of focus
and stretching movements.
The students working on embroidery spent hours
practicing the basic stitches including satin,
filling stitch, knots, back stitch, scattered
stitch, and chain stitch. We were shocked to learn
that the already thin silk thread could be
subdivided into 40 strands and then threaded into an
impossibly small needle (similar to a #12 between).
We started with the satin stitch and practiced until
the stitches started to lie evenly side by side. We
spent four days creating a sample of stitches and
When I saw how little I accomplished after hours of
diligent stitching I appreciated the Chinese
embroideries all the more. The weavers spent four
days practicing the laying in of well colors in
varied shapes working up eventually to a perfect
curve. Then we were ready to create our own pieces.
Many of us had brought pictures for inspiration.
These were copied onto the silk cloth that was
pulled tautly over a floor frame. We then chose the
silk threads we would use to execute the design. The
next five days were spent on those individual
designs. The discipline of sitting and stitching for
hours a day was a unique experience for me and I
enjoyed the quiet focus of placing thread after
thread surrounded by and participating in the lively
chatter of the other women and our Chinese teachers.
At the same time the weavers were working on two
harness floor looms slowly creating their designs in
The teachers were frequently called upon to
demonstrate stitches or determine what stitch would
be appropriate for a particular design. We were
blessed with capable translators who helped with any
communication difficulty. During the week we took
some sightseeing trips to the studio of a master
kesi weaver, the silk embroidery institute, and
Tiger Hill pagoda where we enjoyed a Chinese
The participants stayed at Nanvuan Guesthouse
surrounded by beautiful gardens and conveniently
located on the famous Suzhou antique shop Street.
Now you know what we did in the evenings. Suzhou is
a beautiful city. Many of its ancient gardens remain
and are open to the public. The city is becoming
modem at an astonishing rate and yet much of the old
chami of a city built hundreds of years ago on
What a privilege to spend ten days sharing Chinese
art and culture with teachers who willingly shared
their knowledge and themselves. The weaving and
embroidery session will be run again in Suzhou in
April and September 2000.