This webpage about Suzhou and Silk Embroidey refers to; Very fine thread used in Suzhou embroidery. Visit Embroidery workshop in Suzhou. Images of Dragons and Phoenix on Suzhou embroidery. Travel to Suzhou by train from Shanghai. Prompt services from attendants on train to Suzhou. China mementoes offered to tourists on train from Shanghai. Quieter streets of Suzhou compared to Shanghai. Walk streets to embroidery workshop in Suzhou. Bamboo furniture seen in homes at Suzhou. New homes built in Suzhou streets. Reversible silk embroidery designs in Suzhou workshop. Dog's head lifelike in Suzhou silk embroidery. Embroiderers in Suzhou work for very short periods. 100 birds and phoenix in silk embroidery of Suzhou.
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Suzhou Embroidery On Silk Screens, All Hand Embroidery Thread Very Fine In Different Colors.
When we told friends that we were paying a visit to the silk embroidery workshops in Suzhou, there were many requests made that we return with examples of the embroidery designs produced in the Suzhou workshops.
The hand embroidery designs of animals, birds, dragon and phoenix, and Chinese Wise Men, all seemed to be popular, for the China embroidery of Suzhou is held in high esteem in many countries of the world, and particularly by Chinese people, wherever they maybe living.
To get to Suzhou we had our first experience on our China tour, of travelling on a Chinese train. We left Shanghai in a train coach that was well cared for, clean and comfortable. Each table was covered with a freshly laundered cloth on which were placed a thermos flask with hot water,
ash trays [smoking was then allowed on trains], and a potted plant. If any ash tray was seen to have been used by the coach attendant, it was promptly replaced with a fresh empty one. From time to time the attendant would check whether the thermos flasks had been emptied, and if they had, then full ones would replace them.
When we were nearing the end of our journey, another attendant wheeled in a trolley on which 'China mementoes' were offered at 'tourist prices' but nevertheless easily affordable by the 'foreign tourists'. Many small items of Chinese embroidery were on offer, that could easily be included in our luggage, and some were bought.
The streets of Suzhuo were compared quite favourably with the streets of Shanghai,
and appeared much wider and certainly quieter than the hustle and bustle of Shanghai. The cyclists, rickshaws, and cycle-carts of 1987 were not then troubled by the increased number of vehicles that would eventually almost dispossess them of road space. We walked to the workshops where the silk embroidery of Suzhou was being made, down one street that was lined with trees. The doors of some of the houses on the street
were open, so we were able to have a glimpse of the furniture inside. Most of the furniture seemed to be made of bamboo, in one form or another, and by the door of one of the houses a woman was talking to two young boys, probably her sons, but the boys seemed to be more interested in the passing 'tourists', than in what 'Ma' was saying to them! A lot of building work was in progress along the street, some new houses were being built, and some houses being altered.
Embroidery Designs On Silk Screens, In Reversible Frames Showing Identical Embroidery Designs.
The silk embroidery designs of Suzhou have a long history behind them. The embroidery thread is of many different types and colors, and the workers using hand embroidery needlework, produce some remarkable images in silk, of people, animals, flowers, and scenery, looking almost lifelike. The picture of the dog's head below is just an example.
Many of the embroidery designs were worked on fine reversible silk screens, but what was amazing to us all was the fact that the appearance of the embroidery on both sides of the silk screens, appeared identical. How that was possible is unknown!
Hand Embroidery Of Suzhou On Reversible Silk Screens.
Click the large Suzhou photo above to get to the Suzhou web pages
Embroidery Stitches So Fine Embroiderers Work Only For Short Periods.
In the workshop itself we were able to watch the embroiderers busy with their needlework. Some of the embroidery thread in use was very fine, and the work required a great deal of concentration.
It was explained to the group members, that this type of hand embroidery, being very close work, was an added strain to the eyes, so the embroiderers worked for very short periods, and inbetween work periods, carried out a number of eye exercises. We watched part of the embroidery of a group of white birds, being carried out by a young embroiderer, and standing at her side
was an even younger worker, who was a 'pupil' learning the technique that has made the Suzhou embroidery so famous. This type of needlework using such fine embroidery thread, certainly requires a great deal of patience.
One embroiderer whose nimble fingers were passing the needle of fine thread, up and down through a silk screen, was obviously concentrating on her work and very busy, but the image of the cat's head she was embroidering, did not appear to get any larger during the short time we were with her.
Following our visit to the workshop, we were taken to the shop where many items of the Suzhou embroidery was displayed and could be bought. In front of the counter were some large reversible silk screens , one of which presented an embroidered picture of the Temple Of Heaven. Curiosity prompted an inspection of the reverse side of the silk screen, and as expected, this showed an identical image! Such items were far too large to even consider buying, but there were some pieces of embroidery on silk cloth, that were reasonably priced and furthermore would not
take up much luggage space. Each piece was approximately size 60cmsx40cms. We bought two with the embroidery designs presenting 100 birds worshipping the phoenix, and 2 pieces presenting 100 children with lanterns and dragon celebrating the Chinese New Year. The embroidery thread used in these pieces was very fine, and the blending of the color shades rightly deserved tributes to the fine needlework of the embroiderers.
For more information about Suzhou Embroidery you may wish to use the Wikipedia link at the bottom of this page.
Suzhou embroidery, also known as Su embroidery, is one of the four traditional Chinese embroidery styles. The other three Chinese embroidery styles are Xiang embroidery, Yue embroidery and Shu embroidery. Suzhou embroidery,or 'su xiu' has a history of 2,000 years.Suzhou artistsare are able to use more than 40 needlework and a 1,000 different types of threads to make flowers,birds,animals and even gardens on a piece of cloth. The Suzhou embroidery is refined and exquisite,best-known work being an embroidered cat with bright eyes and fluffy hair looking vivid and lifelike.The main theme of Suzhou embroidery is nature and the environment.This is findings and research from the Nanjing Normal University,Anhui Normal University and the Beijing Chinese Language College,published in the Chinese Common Knowledge Series by the Hong Kong and China Tourism Press.
Src: Wikipedia.com. '''''