to judge Suzhou Embroidery
Suzhou embroidery, Su embroidery for short, is a traditional art which has a high
requirement on hand skills. A piece of good Suzhou
Embroidery is a perfect combination of embroidery techniques and
art. Normally we can judge a Suzhou embroidery work from the
1. To judge the artistic value of the picture. In the present
market, most of the silk embroideries are reproduced from
photographs or oil paintings. But there are some
masterpiece silk embroideries made by some master
embroidery artists who did both the drawing and
2. The fineness of the needlework. This is the most
important role in an embroidery work. Normally we can define
the fineness of a silk embroidery mainly in four parts,
I. Size of
silk threads. Su embroidery is made silk threads on silk
fabric stitch by stitch. The size of silk threads used in
one silk embroidery decides the quality of its quality to
a large extent. Generally speaking, a higher quality silk
embroidery is often hand embroidered with thinner silk
threads than a lower quality one. To make the embroidery
work as fine as possible, the embroidery artists do not
use full silk threads but split silk threads to make the
embroidery work. In many Top Quality silk embroideries we
make, the silk threads used are only 1/16 to 1/32 of one
full silk thread. By using thinner silk threads, the
embroidery artists can make the embroidery work as
detailed as possible. It's a bit like to use a very small
brushes to paint a painting with many minute details. If
the brushes are too large, it's impossible to display all
the details by painting and some details will inevitably
be lost. The same to silk embroidery, if the silk threads
are not thin enough, the embroidery work won't look as
vivid as the original picture.
of stitches. In some poorly made silk embroideries, the
stitches are very long. It's very clear for two silk
embroideries of the same design and same size, the one
made with long stitches will be made in a shorter time.
Long stitches save the embroidery artist's time but affect
the whole quality of the embroidery work. The long
stitches are not strong enough. After some time, the
stitches will get loose and some silk threads may come
out. A high quality silk embroidery is often made with
very short stitches. The embroidery work is very strong,
dense and smooth. A high quality silk embroidery won't get
loose even after some time of being rolled up during
of the embroidery work. A high quality embroidery
painting is made with several layers of embroidery work.
The base layer is often made with fat silk threads. The
upper layers are made with thinner silk threads. The top
layer made with the thinnest silk threads. By doing the
embroidery in this way, embroidery artist can make the
embroidery work as detailed as possible and more colors of
silk threads can be mixed.
IV. Colors of
silk threads. A low quality silk embroidery uses silk
threads of less than 10 colors while a high quality silk
embroidery uses silk threads of more than 100 colors. The
result is very clear. The high quality embroidery picture
looks vivid and more realistic while the low quality silk
embroidery looks dull. To make the color of the embroidery
work looks natural, embroidery artists often use many
similar colors in one small part of the embroidery work.
Sometimes one red color of the embroidery work has dozens
of different red colors mixed, from light to dark. The
color differences are so tiny that most people are not
able tell their exact differences. But the embroidery
artists know how to use them well. By mixing the similar
colors, the final colors of the embroider work transit
smoothly. The embroidery picture looks more like a
The most important, it's hand embroidered, not machine
embroidered. On how to tell the machine made embroideries,
please refer to the article 'Differences
Between Hand Embroidery and Machine Embroidery'.
are some photos of embroideries of the same design but at
two quality levels, Fine Quality and Top Quality. Please
enlarge the photos and compare the embroideries carefully.
You will have a better understanding about the above explanation.
If you have a silk embroidery that you are unsure of its
quality, please feel free to email
us some photos of it to get a free embroidery
Fine Quality 'Head of Horse'
Top Quality 'Head of Horse'
Fine Quality 'Peacocks'
Top Quality 'Peacocks'
Fine Quality 'Meadow of
Top Quality 'Meadow of
* In Su
Embroidery Studio, silk embroideries are grouped
into two types in terms of quality, Fine Quality and Top
Quality. Silk embroideries of both Fine Quality and Top
Quality are exquisitely hand embroidered. For details of
their differences, please refer to article 'Quality
Introduction of Su Embroidery'