Four Major Forms of Chinese Embroidery

chinese embroidery forms

Embroidery is made by using a threaded needle and various stitches to produce a decorative pattern on a piece of base material, according to pre-determined designs and colors. The use of different stitches has led to the various schools of techniques.

The Chinese art of embroidery attained a fairly high level in the dynasties of Qin and Han more than 2,000 years ago. Embroideries, silks and silk fabrics were the major commodities transported along the Silk Road. Historical records show that the official robes worn by monarchs and their subordinates more than 4,000 years ago were either painted or embroidered. Later, officials’ uniforms were embroidered with silk dyed in cinnabar.
As early as the Western Han Dynasty, embroidery had gradually become an art, and the famous embroiderers were accorded a special place in the history of fine arts. The most outstanding Chinese embroideries are Suzhou embroidery in Jiangsu Province, Hunan embroidery in Hunan Province, Guangdong embroidery in Guangdong Province, and Sichuan embroidery in Sichuan Province. These four major embroidery forms took shape in the middle of the 19th century.
Apart from their own distinctive characteristics, the commercialization of the embroideries was another important course for their emergence. Because of the market demand and their different places of origin, the embroidered products became well-known indigenous commodities.
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