Features of Chinese Xiang Embroidery

chinese xiang embroidery

Xiang embroidery, or Hunan embroidery, employs more than 70 different stitches, and more than 100 different colors of silk threads. It uses colored, untwisted silk. In addition to the plain stitch, connecting stitch, and twisted knot stitch, it has initiated the mixed stitch. Its stitches are irregular so that the threads of different colors are mixed together to produce subtle gradations. The colors are rich and the shading is well blended.

Paintings are often used as reference for Xiang embroidery designs. Favorite subjects are landscapes, figures, flowers and birds, and classical Chinese paintings featuring birds and beasts. The designs are vivid and lifelike. Especially popular are lion and tiger themes. The tigers in Xiang embroideries appear vigorous and powerful.
Xiang embroideries divided into two categories: articles for practical use and decorative pieces. The practical items are mostly made with silk fabrics and satins are the base materials. Flowers and plants, insects and fish, birds and animals designs are the most common. Dyed silk threads are used for the stitches. Notable pieces include quilt covers, pillowcases and cushions. The decorative embroidery works are mostly made with top-quality silks and satins as the base, and stitched with top-grade colored silks as fine as hair.
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