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How to differentiate Chinese silk embroidery from machine-made embroidery


   Su Embroidery Studio never produces or sells machine embroideries. Please see our Hand Embroidery Guarantee Statement.   

   With the advancement of computer technology, machine embroidery is improving very fast in its look and quality. There are many machine made embroideries in market which the sellers claim that they are hand embroidered. It is very complicated, almost impossible, to explain what's the difference between hand embroidery and machine embroidery by looking at their pictures. The best way is to check its photo with high resolution. By checking the large photos of the embroideries, you can see the stitches of the embroidery clearly. Below are some tips that will help you to tell Chinese silk hand embroidery from machine embroidery.

purchase silk embroideries online

   1. Material. Chinese silk embroidery is made with silk threads on silk satin. Silk threads are very delicate. It is very difficult for a machine to use silk threads to make embroidery because silk threads can get broken very easily during embroidering. Machine embroideries normally use artificial fibers or artificial silk threads that are much stronger than natural silk threads.

   2. Size of threads. Machine embroideries use full threads, but a fine quality silk embroidery painting use split silk threads, silk threads split from one full silk strand. To show the embroidery effect well, embroidery artists often use different sizes of silk threads when making one silk embroidery work. For example, the face part of a portrait embroidery is the most exquisite part that often use silk threads much thinner than the ones in other parts. Embroidery done with thinner silk threads is more smooth and has more colors mixed so it will look more realistic. But in a machine-made embroidery, all the threads are in the same size, all threads not split.

   3. Stitches. If you compare two machine embroideries of the same design, you will find their stitches are the same. But handmade silk embroidery is different from each other even if the design is the same. Due to their nature of being handmade, there are not two handmade silk embroideries that are 100% the same. Also in one machine made embroidery alone, if you check it carefully, you will find that its stitches have a regular pattern.

   4. Colors. The hand embroidery looks more brilliant while the machine embroidery looks a bit dull. Also when you check the enlarged photos, you will find hand embroidery looks neater while the machine embroidery looks rough.

   Below are two photos taken from one part of the embroideries, one is hand embroidered, the other machine made.


hand embroidery

machine embroidery

 hand made silk embroidery machine made embroidery

    Below are some tips that can help you avoid buying machine embroidery online. 

   1, Ask for close-up photos of the embroidery that can display the stitches and threads clearly. Suzhou hand embroidery uses pure silk threads, but machine embroidery uses artificial fibers. 

   2, Ask the producer if they can custom-make your own picture into silk embroidery. Machine embroidery producer only produce embroideries that they have the programs. They scan a hand embroidery work into a computer and then use an embroidery machine to produce the embroidery which almost has the same stitches as the original hand embroidery.

   3, Ask the producer to take some photos of your embroidery while it is being made to prove it is hand embroidered.  

   Still not sure if the embroidery hand embroidered or not? Please feel free to contact us by emailing us photos of the embroidery to get a free appraisal. 


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