Thursday, May 29, 2008

Chinese embroidery

I’m in a lull period. My left hand has been having over use issues (my thumb has been incredibly sore) and things are really busy at work. One of the projects I’m working on is a large, week-long conference on China’s economy. Most of the participants are coming from China. I’m learning a lot about travel to and from China, Chinese provinces and names, visas and a host of other interesting things.

So I decided to take a side trip into Chinese embroidery. When I think of Chinese embroidery, I tend to envision something like this first piece. I might also envision some of the lovely two-sided embroideries that I've seen. A Chicago museum once had someone who was showing how it was done--it was amazing! Or perhaps some of the embroideries I've seen on clothing and those tiny shoes.

The embroidery I could find on the web seems to primarily be a commercial endeavor, which isn't really surprising.

At Marla Mallett: Textiles and Tribal Oriental Rugs I found a lovely page on the infamous Forbidden Stitch in Chinese Embroidery with a variety of knot stitch diagrams. The Travel China Guide has a page with an overview of embroidery in China and some of the popular regional styles. I found this interesting article on Chinese Hair Embroidery. has a longer article on Chinese embroidery with examples of the four best-known styles.

I used to have a book of Chinese counted cross stitch designs that was titled something like Blue and White but I couldn’t find a listing for it online and the only article I could find was solely the table of contents listing for an article in Piecework. I remember reading quite a bit about it in the 1980s.


Miss 376 said...

I remember some years ago, going to Stitchcraft exhibition and a lady there demonstratinf Chinese Embroidery. It was breathtaking. Would love to have their level of skill

Jane said...

Thank you for those websites, I was fascinated by the "forbidden knot" stitches. I didn't know there were so many ways to make a "french" knot. I'm going to get out my piece of Miao embroidery and check if there are any of those stitches on it.