When discussing Chinese silk embroidery, it's common to assume that silk fabric is the default choice. However, the term "silk fabric" encompasses a diverse range of materials, each woven from silk threads and offering unique characteristics. In this article, I will discuss the three silk fabrics that Su Embroidery Studio most often uses for silk embroideries. In addition, I will also show some examples of silk embroideries done on other fabrics besides silk fabrics.


The Three Most Often Used Silk Fabrics at Su Embroidery Studio

In the world of Chinese silk embroidery, the choice of fabric plays a pivotal role in determining the final outcome of the silk embroidery artwork. At Su Embroidery Studio, we meticulously select from a variety of silk fabrics to enhance the beauty and durability of our embroidered masterpieces. Among the many options available, three silk fabrics stand out as the most frequently utilized due to their distinct characteristics and suitability for different embroidery techniques.

1.Duchess Satin:

Characteristics: Duchess satin is renowned for its opulent sheen, dense weave, and substantial weight. Its smooth surface and robust structure make it an ideal canvas for intricate embroidery work, ensuring exceptional durability and longevity.

Usage: Su Embroidery Studio favors Duchess Satin for its ability to showcase intricate details and vibrant colors with unparalleled clarity. This fabric is particularly well-suited for elaborate designs and dense stitching, allowing us to create richly embellished silk embroideries that exude luxury and sophistication.

Most Masterpiece silk embroideries Su Embroidery Studio created utilizes this type of exquisite silk fabric. 

Masterpiece silk embroidery 'Black Horse'

Masterpiece Silk Embroidery 'Black Horse'

Masterpiece Silk embroidery 'Pink Lotus'

Masterpiece Silk Embroidery 'Pink Lotus'

Duchess Satin is an ideal silk fabric for luxurious dresses. In 2014, ordered by fashion designer in the UK, Su Embroidery Studio custom made silk embroidery for dresses made of double Duchess Satin which were showcased at the London Fashion Week that year. 

silk embroidery on Duchess Satin

Silk Embroidery Abstract Koik on Duchess Satin

silk embroidery on Duchess Satin

Silk Embroidery Abstract Koi on Duchess Satin

silk embroidered dress at london fashion show

Silk Embroidered Dress at London Fashion Show 2014

silk embroidered dress at london fashion show

Silk Embroidered Dress at London Fashion Show 2014

2. Taffeta:

Characteristics: Taffeta is prized for its crisp texture, fine ribbed pattern, and luminous sheen. It has a lightweight yet sturdy feel, with a subtle rustle that adds an element of elegance to any garment or decor item.

Usage: Taffeta's smooth surface and beautiful luster make it an excellent choice for silk embroideries inspired by traditional Chinese paintings. At Su Embroidery Studio, we often use taffeta as the base fabric for artworks featuring delicate brushstroke motifs and vivid colors, reminiscent of the classic Chinese rice paper used in traditional ink paintings.

chinese silk embroidery guan gong

Chinese Silk Embroidery of 'Guan Gong' Made on Taffeta

chinese siilk embroidery painting 'lady guoguo on spring outing

Chinese Silk Embroidery based on Traditional Chinese Painting 'Lady Guoguo on a Spring Outing' Made on Taffeta

3. Gauze:

Characteristics: Gauze is prized for its lightweight, semi-transparent nature and soft, airy texture. It has an ethereal quality that lends itself well to double-sided embroidery and delicate stitching techniques.

Usage: Su Embroidery Studio harnesses the delicate beauty of gauze for creating double-sided silk embroideries that showcase intricate designs on both sides of the fabric. The semi-transparent quality of gauze adds depth and dimension to the artwork, allowing light to pass through and accentuate the intricacies of the stitching.

double sided sembroidery made on silk gauze

Double Sided Embroidery Made on White Silk Gauze

double sided embroidery made on black silk gauze

Double Sided Embroidery Made on Black Silk Gauze

double sided embroidery made on blue silk gauze

Bespoke Double Sided Embroidery Made on Blue Silk Gauze


At Su Embroidery Studio, we meticulously match each silk fabric to the specific requirements of the embroidery design, ensuring that the chosen fabric enhances the visual impact and longevity of the artwork. Whether it's the sumptuous sheen of Duchess satin, the elegant charm of taffeta, or the ethereal beauty of gauze, each fabric brings its own unique character to the embroidered masterpiece, resulting in a timeless work of art that captivates the senses and delights the soul.


Three Other Fabrics Su Embroidery Studio Utilizes for Silk Embroidery

In addition to the exquisite silk fabrics mentioned earlier, Su Embroidery Studio also explores the artistic possibilities offered by a diverse range of alternative textiles. While silk remains the first choice for many embroidery projects, other fabrics such as linen, cotton, and velvet are occasionally employed to achieve unique textures and visual effects. Let's delve into the characteristics of these fabrics and explore how they enhance the beauty of embroidered artworks.


Characteristics: Linen is renowned for its natural, earthy texture, breathability, and durability. It has a distinctively coarse weave with subtle variations in color and tone, lending a rustic charm to any embroidered piece.

Usage: Su Embroidery Studio occasionally incorporates linen into its repertoire to add a touch of organic elegance to select artworks. Linen's tactile quality and rustic appearance make it well-suited for projects that aim to evoke a sense of natural beauty and simplicity. Whether used as a background fabric or as a contrasting element, linen lends a timeless quality to embroidered creations.

silk embroidered linen tablecloth

Silk Embroidered Linen Tablecloth

closeup of silk embroidery on linen fabric

Closeup of Silk Embroidery Work on Linen Fabric


Characteristics: Cotton is celebrated for its softness, versatility, and absorbent properties. It has a smooth surface and fine weave, offering a blank canvas for intricate embroidery work and vibrant color expression.

Usage: While not as common as silk, cotton is occasionally chosen for specific embroidery projects at Su Embroidery Studio. Its soft, breathable nature makes it suitable for items intended for everyday use, such as decorative pillow covers, table linens, or casual apparel. Cotton's ability to hold embroidery stitches securely ensures the longevity and durability of the finished piece.

silk embroidery on cotton fabric

Silk Embroidery on Cotton Fabric

silk embroidery on cotton fabric

Silk Embroidery on Cotton Fabric


Characteristics: Velvet is prized for its luxurious pile, plush texture, and rich, sumptuous appearance. It has a dense, closely-woven structure that reflects light beautifully, creating a sense of depth and opulence.

Usage: Su Embroidery Studio occasionally incorporates velvet into its repertoire to add a sense of extravagance and sophistication to select artworks. Velvet's decadent texture and lustrous sheen make it an ideal choice for creating dramatic focal points or adding tactile interest to embroidered compositions. Whether used for ornate motifs or intricate embellishments, velvet adds a touch of regal elegance to any embroidered masterpiece.

silk embroidery on velvet

Silk Embroidery on Velvet

closeup of silk embroidery on velvet

Closeup of Silk Embroidery on Velvet

By exploring the unique qualities of alternative fabrics such as linen, cotton, and velvet, Su Embroidery Studio expands the creative possibilities of silk embroidery, pushing the boundaries of traditional techniques and inspiring new artistic expressions.


by Su Embroidery Studio (SES), Suzhou China

SES is dedicated to Chinese Silk Embroidery Art and High-End Custom Embroidery 

Find SES's embroidery work at Chinese Silk Embroidery for Sale

Buy Chinese Silk Embroidery Online

Buy Chinese Silk Embroidery Online

Custom Portrait Embroidery from Photo

Custom Portrait Embroidery from Photo