Hand Embroidery Art
Antique Textile History
http://www.textileasart.com/weaving.htm   

Chinese Embroidery History
The history of silk begins in China--silkworms were domesticated as early as 5000 years ago. The production of silk thread and fabrics
gave rise to the art of embroidery.

Chinese embroidery boasts a very long history. An embroidery piece with dragon-and-phoenix pattern was unearthed at 1958 from Chu
tomb (Warring Sates Period, 475 -221 B.C.) and the “Longevity embroidery” & “Token embroidery”  unearthed at 1972 from Mawangdui
Han tomb (206 B.C.-220 A.D.) in Changsha of Hunan Province, proving that embroidery reached a high level of development over 2000
years ago.
                           
During Ming Dynasty(1368-1644), some Portuguese businessmen visited China and returned home with samples of Chinese embroidery they
were highly awarded by their king. Since then, Chinese embroidery became well-known throughout the world. Silk, in textile and
embroidery form, were the main products transported along the ancient Chinese Silk Road. In the Qing Dynasty(1644-1912), embroidery
workshops were formed and the industry was developed. Chinese embroidery became more elegant and covered a wider aesthetic range.
Embroidery is a traditional Chinese craft which consists of pulling colored thread through a background with needle to stitch patterns
that have been previously designed.

The adoption of different stitching methods developed into different embroidery styles. There are four famous top Chinese embroidery
Styles: Su embroidery from Jiangsu, Xiang embroidery from Hunan, Yue embroidery from Guangdong, Shu embroidery from Sichuan. Also
another style Bian embroidery from Henan.

Chinese Embroidery and Symbolism
http://www.laohats.com/studypages/textiles.htm

Hand Tools of Chinese Embroidery


























Procedure of Silk Embroidery:
1. Creation of an embroidery artwork starts with design conception. Silk embroidery can be created as original artwork, or replicated,
based on other media or art forms (for example, such as an oil painting or a photograph).

2. With replication, the design is transferred to a support fabric (pure silk, or mixed silk and synthetic fabric), by means of sketching
or the use of digital printing.

3. The support fabric is then installed on an embroidery frame. Embroiderers then begin the embroidery process with tiny needles and
thousands of strands of colorful silk floss. One hundred twenty eight individual strands of silk are combined to make a coarse floss,
which are dyed in house by the artists themselves. Depending upon what embroidery technique is to be used, and the detail required, an
embroidery artist needs to split the coarse floss into several strands of thinner floss, from one split to as many as 16 splits. The floss
commonly used contains eight to sixty-four individual silk strands. In some of the highest quality pieces, the finest floss with six
individual silk strands is also used. In some cases, single colored split silk floss is intertwined with other colored floss to achieve
special color effects.

4. Mounting after completes. It is most suitable for larger pieces. Mounting a piece of silk embroidery can be an art in and of itself. It
involves mounting the embroidery piece on a large sheet of paper with a silk border. In this way, it is easy for removing and preserving.
Sometimes we also call the process as soft framing. It not only can protect the real work, but also it's easier to carry and store to
any where. The mounting technique is very difficult to master. As a result, due to the nature of the mounting technique, a piece with
soft mounting is more valuable.

5. Framed by Wood/Metal frames with glass for your wall decoration. Embroidery artworks look better without the glass, but we
suggest our customer to frame it with glass, since the glass will protect the art from dust and last longer.

How to Appreciate Chinese Silk Embroidery
Whether you’re an 'art lover' or the 'common person', you'll come to appreciate the value of silk embroidery once you learn of the skill and
effort that goes into creating each piece.

An embroidery artwork can be appreciated on the basis of both the skills employed and the artistic merit.  The skills employed can be
appreciated on the basis of color, silk floss, the stitch and needle distance.  The value of an embroidery artwork is determined by type of
stitching employed, and the extent, or size of the embroidery area.

To create a high quality piece, an artist must split a single silk thread into several thinner threads. It can be split into from 2 to 16 thinner
strands - depending on how fine the artist wants to be with his/her piece. The embroiderer then stitches layer after layer using threads of a
variety of colors to reach the final wonderful effect. Embroiderers are known to take frequent breaks - every 10 to 15 minutes - to rest their
eyes due to the strenuous nature of their work.

Due to the labor-intensiveness of the work, some larger and more intricate pieces of embroidery may require a year, even a year and a half
to complete by an artist or group of artists. Those works sell for thousand of pounds, which is reasonable - considering the skill and time
involved in creating the work. Of course, smaller pieces are available that are of high quality yet sell for much less.

How to Protect Embroidery Artworks
* All the embroidery artworks need to avoid wet;
* Be sure to wrap embroidery pieces in a container that protects it from moths for storage.  
* Place in a good ventilation environment.
* Do not touch the surface of the real work and the threads with your hand;
* Avoid to be exposed to strong light, especially sunshine for an extended period of time.
* Protect the artwork with a proper frame. The front glass can reduce glare and protect against UVA and UVB rays.

If you protect your embroidery artwork well, they will last for a very long time. The earliest Chinese embroidery which well kept since now
has a history of over 500 years.

The Top Four Styles of Chinese Silk Embroidery
Chinese Embroidery is well-known for its neat stitches, elegant colors and fine quality. The methods applied in producing embroidery
artworks include parallel, mixing, netting, random stitches and many unique secret methods.
1. Su Embroidery
Su embroidery: Suzhou city of Jiangsu province and everything from it reflects tranquility, refinement, and elegance.

With a history of more than 3,000 years, Su embroidery is the general name for embroidery products in areas around Suzhou, Jiangsu
Province. The craft, which dates back to the Three Kingdoms Period (220-280), became a sideline of people in the Suzhou area during the
Ming Dynasty (1368-1644). Well known for its smoothness and delicateness, Su embroidery won Suzhou the title City of Embroidery in the
Qing Dynasty. In the mid and late Qing, Su embroidery experienced further developments involving works of
double-sided embroidering.
There were 65 embroidery stores in Suzhou City. During the Republic of China period (1912-1949), the Su embroidery industry was in
decline due to frequent wars and it was restored and regenerated after the founding of new China. In 1950, the central government set up
research centers for Su embroidery and launched training courses for the study of embroidery. Weaving methods have climbed from 18 to
the present 40.

The designs are usually very simple, highlighting a main theme. Its stitching is smooth, dense, thin, neat, uniform, delicate and
harmonious. Double-sided embroidery has the different patterns on both sides.
Su embroidery features a strong, folk flavor and its weaving techniques are characterized by the following: the product surface must be flat,
the rim must be neat, the needle must be thin, the lines must be dense, the color must be harmonious and bright and the picture must be
even. Su embroidery products fall into three major categories: costumes, decorations for halls and crafts for daily use, which integrate
decorative and practical values. Double-sided embroidery is an excellent representative of Su embroidery.

Double Sided Embroidery works or two sided embroidery artworks                
Besides average double sided embroideries that have two same images, we also make rarely seen works that have two different images
on both sides, embroidery works done on one and the same silk fabric, an embroidery skill in danger of extinction that now only several
embroidery artists know how to achieve it. We've prepared two video clips to show how the double sided embroidery works look like.

2. Xiang Embroidery
Xiang embroidery was initiated in the Chu kingdom of the Warring States Period. It had become the main craft in places around Changsha,
capital city of Hunan Province. It absorbed and combined the merits of Su embroidery and Yue embroidery with their local embroidery,
and developed the unique, detailed, marvelous style.

Xiang embroidery is well known for its time-honored history, excellent craftsmanship and unique style. The earliest piece of Xiang
embroidery was unearthed at the No.1 Tomb of Mawangdui, Changsha City of the Han Dynasty (206BC-AD220). The weaving technique
was almost the same as the one used in modern times, which demonstrated that embroidery had already existed in the Han Dynasty. In
its later development, Xiang Embroidery absorbed the characteristics of traditional Chinese paintings and formed its own unique
characteristics. Xiang embroidery experienced its heyday at the end of the Qing Dynasty (1644-1911) and in the early Republic of China
(early 20th century), even surpassing Su embroidery. After the founding of the People's Republic of China, Xiang embroidery was further
improved and developed to a new level.

Xiang embroidery uses pure silk, hard satin, soft satin and nylon as its material, which is connected with colorful silk threads. Absorbing
the spirit of Chinese paintings, the embroidery reaches a high artistic level. Xiang embroidery crafts include valuable works of art, as well
as materials for daily use.
The thin silk thread can be divided into up to many strands that are barely visible. The embroider can split the hair-thin colored silk thread
into filaments--half, quarter, 1/12, 1/64 or more of its original thickness and uses these to create subtle and refined visions of beauty. The
stitches are very disciplined and critical. The various colored threads are mixed together showing a gradual change in color with a rich and
harmonious tone. Xiang embroidery is high detailed and there is more handwork involved to complete these artistic pieces.


3. Shu Embroidery
Shu embroidery products are mostly found in Chengdu city of Sichuan Province. Like other Chinese embroidery, the style is constructed
with soft satins and colored threads, and is embroidered by hand. The varied stitching methods form their unique local style. Designs
include flowers, birds, landscapes, fish, and portraits, and applications include quilt covers, pillow covers, back cushions, table cloths,
scarves and handkerchiefs.

Also called Chuan embroidery, Shu embroidery is the general name for embroidery products in areas around Chengdu, Sichuan Province.
Shu embroidery enjoys a long history. As early as the Han Dynasty, Shu embroidery was already famous. The central government even
designated an office in this area for its administration. During the Five Dynasties and Ten States periods (907-960), a peaceful society and
large demand provided advanced conditions for the rapid development of the Shu Embroidery industry. Shu embroidery experienced its
peak development in the Song Dynasty (960-1279), ranking first in both production and excellence. In the mid-Qing Dynasty, the Shu
embroidery industry was formed. After the founding of the People's Republic of China, Shu embroidery factories were set up and the craft
entered a new phase of development, using innovative techniques and a larger variety of forms.

Originating among the folk people in the west of Sichuan Province, Shu embroidery formed its own unique characteristics: smooth, bright,
neat and influenced by the geographical environment, customs and cultures. The works incorporated flowers, leaves, animals, mountains,
rivers and human figures as their themes. Altogether, there are 122 approaches in 12 categories for weaving. The craftsmanship of Shu
embroidery involves a combination of fine arts, aesthetics and practical uses, such as the facings of quits, pillowcases, coats, shoots and
screen covers.


4. Yue Embroidery
Yue embroidery was developed in Tang Dynasty. Ancient Chinese craftsmen used peacock feathers twisted together as the embroidering
thread to stitch the ornamental designs. The designs are rich and complicated in content with bright colors and strong decorative effects.
The embroidery is smooth and even.

Also called Guang embroidery, Yue embroidery is a general name for embroidery products of the regions of Guangzhou, Shantou,
Zhongshan, Fanyu and Shunde in Guangdong Province. According to historical records, in the first year of Yongyuan's reign (805) during
the Tang Dynasty (618-907), a girl named Lu Meiniang embroidered the seventh volume of the Fahua Buddhist Scripture on a piece of thin
silk 30 cm long. And so, Yue embroidery became famous around the country. The prosperous Guangzhou Port of the Song Dynasty
promoted the development of Yue embroidery, which began to be exported at that time. During the Qing Dynasty, people animal hair as the
raw material for Yue embroidery, which made the works more vivid. During Qianlong's reign (1736-1796) of the Qing, an industrial
organization was established in Guangzhou. At that time, a large number of craftsmen devoted themselves to the craft, inciting further
improvements to the weaving technique. Since 1915, the work of Yue embroidery garnered several awards at the Panama Expo.

Influenced by national folk art, Yue embroidery formed its own unique characteristics. The embroidered pictures are mainly of dragons and
phoenixes, and flowers and birds, with neat designs and strong, contrasting colors. Floss, thread and gold-and-silk thread embroidery are
used to produce costumes, decorations for halls and crafts for daily use.

Silk Embroidery Framing, Matting & Mounting

A frame serves many purposes: It protects and enhances the work, offers protection from dirt, moisture, light, insects and corrosive
elements, while providing a stable platform for hanging. Glass or clear acrylic is held off the surface of the artwork by the mat. The back of
the work should be attached to acid-free board. Most cheap frames use backing board and matting material that contains small amounts
of acid. Over time this acid leaches into the artwork, staining it and making it brittle.

In museum quality frames, all material that touches the work is PH neutral (free of acids, at least four-ply thickness archival quality 100%
cotton rag museum mat board, over an acid-free foam or corrugated backing board). All frames should be sealed against moisture to
avoid damage from mold and humidity. In terms of value, if something is not framed properly, it can do more damage to a work of art than
you could imagine. People should care about  their art pieces.

中国的四大名绣—— 起源

  中国是世界文明古国,也是世界上最早生产纺织品的国家之一。被世人誉为"衣冠王朝"。中华文明古国创造了辉煌灿烂的服饰文化。人们常
常利用刺绣来装饰衣、裙、衾、枕等成活用品,美化生活,创造美的世界。

  中国的刺绣源远流长,在世界服饰文化宝库中占有重要的位置,在中国传统工艺美术行业中颇有影响,是中华民族智慧的结晶,是百花园中
瑰丽多姿的一朵越开越艳丽的奇葩。在刺绣行业中,苏绣、湘绣、蜀绣、粤绣是中国的四大名绣,享誉国内外。此外,还有京绣、瓯绣、顾绣、
苗绣、卡绣、榕绣、汉绣、发绣、机绣、绒绣、剪绒绣、抽纱刺绣等等,都自成一派,使中国古老的刺绣业繁荣似锦,大放异彩。

  中国刺绣起源于3000多年前,传说古代苏州有一位聪颖漂亮的姑娘,在结婚前正在赶制一件新嫁妆,在制作过程中不小心在衣襟上戳了一
个洞。她急中生智用彩绒绣了一朵小花,不仅将破洞掩盖住,而且还显得格外漂亮,起到了锦上添花的效果。首次启发,聪明的苏州人从此就开
始喜欢穿绣花衣服了。根据西汉刘向所撰的《说苑》记载,早在春秋时期,吴人就开始把刺绣工艺应用于美化生活。到了三国时期,苏绣已发展
到较高水平,据说三国时期的赵夫人利用自己既能画又能绣的特长,为孙权作的一幅"画绣",被时人堪称"针绝",从而赵夫人便成为"画绣"的鼻
祖。

中国四大名绣

1. 苏绣
五彩缤纷、绚丽多彩的苏绣,被人们誉为中国艺术宝库中的一颗明珠。
苏绣——以苏州为中心的刺绣工艺品的总称,国内外早负盛名。清代以来,许多刺绣如粤绣、蜀绣、湘绣,无不受其影响。图案取材广泛,有花
鸟、山水、人物、书法及各种传统题材。针法多达四十余种,比较常见的有齐针、乱针、抢针、施针、接针、滚针、散套、虚实针等,变化无
穷,各具特色,其技巧表现为平、光、齐、匀、和、顺、细、密八个字。苏绣是以针为笔,针法精巧细腻、色彩晕染自如,似在织物上作画。
    
  苏绣的发源地在苏州吴县一带,现已遍衍江苏省的无锡、常州、扬州、宿迁、东台等地。江苏土地肥沃,气候温和,蚕桑发达,盛产丝绸,
自古以来就是锦绣之乡。优越的地理环境,绚丽丰富的锦缎,五光十色的花线,为苏绣发展创造了有利条件。据西汉刘向"说苑"记载,早在二千
多年前的春秋时期,吴国已将刺绣用于服饰。三国时代,吴王孙权曾命赵达丞相之妹手绣《列国图》,在方帛上绣出五岳、河海、城邑、行阵等
图案,有“绣万国于一锦”之说。据《清秘藏》叙述,“宋人之绣,针线细密,用线一、二丝,用针如发细者为之。设色精妙,光彩射目。山水分远
近之趣,楼阁得深邃之体人物具瞻眺生动之情,花乌极绰约底馋唼之态,佳者较画更胜。”可见宋代苏绣艺术已具有相当高水平。  
    
  到了明代,江南已成为丝织手工业中心。在绘画艺术方面出现了以唐寅 (伯虎)、沈周为代表的吴门画派,推动了刺绣的发展。刺绣艺人结
合绘画作品进行再制作,所绣佳作栩栩如生,笔墨韵味琳漓尽致有“以针作画” “巧夺天工”之称。自此,刺绣艺术在针法、色彩图案诸方面已形成
独自的艺术风格,在艺苑中吐芳挺秀,与与书画艺术媲美争艳。
    
  清代是苏绣的全盛时期,真可谓流派繁衍,名手竞秀。皇室享用的大量刺绣品,几乎全出于苏绣艺人之手。民间刺绣更是丰富多彩,广泛用
于服饰、戏衣、被面、枕袋帐幔、靠垫、鞋面、香包、扇袋等方面。这些苏绣生活用品不仅针法多样、绣工精细、配色秀雅,而且图案花纹含有
喜庆、长寿、吉祥之意,深受群众喜爱。还有一种“画绣”,属于高档欣赏品,称之为“闺阁绣”。史载吴县的钱慧、曹墨琴,吴江的杨卯君、沈关
关,无锡的丁佩、薛文华等人的刺绣佳作,皆名垂一时。特别是到了清末民初,在西学东流的潮流中,苏绣也出现了创新的兆头。  
    
  光绪年间,技艺精湛的刺绣艺术家沈云芝闻名苏州绣坛,她溶西画肖神仿真的特点于刺绣之中,新创了“仿真绣”。光绪三十年(公元1904
年)慈禧七十寿辰,沈云艺绣了佛像等八幅作品祝寿。慈禧备加赞赏,书写“ 寿”、福 ”两字,分赐给沈云芝和她的丈夫余觉。从此沈云芝改名沈
寿,嗣后她的作品《意大利皇后爱丽娜像》,曾作为国家礼品赠送给意大利,轰动了意国朝野;《那稣像》1915年在美国举办的“巴拿马--太平
洋国际傅览会”上获一等大奖,售价高达一万三千美元。《美国女伏倍克像》赴美展出时,其盛况空前。沈寿的"仿真绣"传誉中外,开拓了苏绣崭
新的一页。
    
  在她的倡导下,江苏的苏州、南通、丹阳、无锡、常熟等地分别举办了刺绣传习所、绣工科、绣工会等。她曾先后到苏州、北京、天津、南
通等地课徒传艺,培养了一代新人。其时著名艺人还有华基、唐义真、李佩敝、蔡群秀、张应秀、金静芬…… 她们的作品先后在“意大利都朗万
国博览会”(公元1911)、“巴拿马一一太平洋国际博览会”(公元1915年)、“比利时万国博览会”(公元1930 年)上获奖,为中华民族传统工艺
在国际上赢得了荣誉。
    
  三十年代初,丹阳正则女职中绣工科主任杨守玉,始创了纵横交叉、长短不一、分层重叠的“乱针绣” 丰富与提高了苏绣艺术的表现能力。自
本世纪五十年代初以来,苏绣艺人创作开拓了新的广阔天地。苏州、南通、常州、无锡、扬州、东台等地先后建立了刺绣研究机构或工厂,使刺
绣艺人安心专致研究和创作。对失传的技艺进行了挖掘、总结、提高、发展,使古老的苏绣艺术重放异彩。

2. 湘绣
湘绣——湘绣为我国四大名绣之一,以湖南长沙为中心的刺绣工艺品的总称,是在湖南民间刺绣工艺的基础上,吸取了苏绣和光绣的精华而发展
起来的刺绣工艺品,从而形成了自己独特的风格,强调写实,质朴而优美,形象生动。特点是丝细,后用皂荚仁溶液蒸煮,再裹起来揩拭,防止
绒丝起毛,其光细胜眼于发丝,亦称“羊毛细绣”,湘绣在配色上善于运用深浅灰及黑白色,加上适当的明暗对比,增强了质感和立体感,结构上
虚实结合,善于利用空白,突出主题,形成了湘绣水墨画般的素雅品质。湘绣的传统题材是以狮、虎、松鼠等,特别是以虎最为多见。蜀绣——
蜀绣与苏绣、湘绣、粤绣齐名,为中国四大名绣之一,是具有悠久历史传统的刺绣工艺品之一,早在西汉时已有记载,它亦叫“川绣”,以四川成
都为中心的刺绣产品的总称,以软缎和彩丝为主要原料,技艺严谨精密,讲究施针,针法所达百余种,常见的有滚针、掺针、铺针、晕针、盖
针、戳针、沙针等等,针脚整齐、掺色轻柔、虚实合度、变化丰富,具有浓郁的地方色彩。绣制一般为被面、枕套、衣、鞋及画屏等。

早在战国时期,湘绣就已有了较高的艺术水平和娴熟的技艺。从1958年在长沙楚墓中发现的龙凤图案绣品来看,是在极细密的丝绢上运用连环
针刺绣而成的,其针脚整齐、绣工精细,图案生动活泼令人赞叹不已。而1972年在长沙马王堆发掘的西汉墓中,出土的湘绣制品有41件刺绣衣
物和一幅装饰内棺的铺绒绣锦,绣品采用的图案有10余种,绣线均为未加捻的彩色散丝,色相多达18种。在刺绣的针法上,则采用了连环针、
齐针(或平针)、接针和打子针等多种针法,使绣品产生针脚整齐,线条洒脱而丰富,图案多样的特点。而且这些绣品的绣工是非常娴熟的,具
有很扎实的功底。在一定程度上反映了西汉时期的湘绣工艺已达到了相当高的水平。
    
  到了清朝,湘绣已遍及湖南广大城乡,处处可见"母友相传,邻亲相授"的传艺学艺生动场面,特别是长沙一带,湘绣成为家家户户的农村副
业,农村妇女在劳作之余,不仅用绣针和彩线来美化生活,而且开始把绣花作为谋生的手段。在19世纪末20世纪初的短短10多年间,在长沙一
带新设立的湘绣绣庄就达40多家,大大推动了湘绣的刺绣水平和艺术水平的提高,表现手段不断丰富,逐步形成了湘绣的流派和独特的艺术风
格。到了20世纪上半叶,湘绣的艺术水平得到了进一步提高,表现手段更加丰富而细腻,名家名作不断涌现,湘绣人物"惟妙惟肖";而写意山
水,则更是"色簪花,迹灭针绒"。这些"绝针"之作均出自于湘绣艺人的"神手",曾名噪一时,受到国内外人士的赞誉。
    
  湘绣的"绝招"要数20世纪下半叶的双面全异绣,设计的巧妙和针法的变化二者结合得惟妙惟肖,使湘绣技艺提高到一个更高的水平,绣工可
以在同一底料的正反面刺绣着画面、色彩、针法都不相同的绣品,这是刺绣技艺上的一次重大突破。例如,一幅《狮虎》座屏绣品德一面是一只
仰天长啸的上山虎,而另一面是一只低手夜行的下山狮,一上一下,正面的虎头转到反面变成了狮尾,两面的形象迥然不同,令人瞠目。又如湘
绣艺人采用传统的掺针、平针、游针等针法,绣制的《花木兰》绣屏。在绣品的一面是女扮男装,全衣铁甲的花木兰的威武形象,生动地体现
了"万里赴戎机"、"寒光照铁衣"的诗意;而在绣品的另一面却是花木兰脱去战时袍,又着女儿装的闺秀模样。活生生地再现了花木兰"当窗理云
鬓,对镜贴花黄"的喜悦情境。两种截然不同的画面十分简要地概括出花木兰女扮男装,替父从军,凯旋而归的动人故事内容,将诗情画意融为
一体,珠联璧合相得益彰。在这幅绣屏中,艺人采用的仍是传统的掺针、平针、游针等手法,运用高超的技艺着意刺绣,使花木兰这位英雄人物
的形象呼之欲出,跃然于绣屏上,除了令人叹服之外,更是回味无穷。因此,双面全异绣使湘绣达到了极高的艺术水平,这也是湘绣在刺绣中形
成独树一帜的流派。

3. 蜀绣
蜀绣又称“川绣”,产于四川成都。
    
  早在汉代,成都的织绵业就很发达,朝廷还专门设置锦官来管理,所以成都又称“锦城”。西汉文学家扬雄在《蜀都赋》中说:“若挥锦布绣,
望芒兮无幅”。并说在成都随处可见“挥肱织锦”、“展帛刺绣”的情景。五代十国时期,四川前后建立了前蜀和后蜀两个王朝。那时中原一带战争频
繁,唯独四川能偏安一隅,为刺绣的发展创造了有 利条件。同时,绣品需求量很大,也刺激了民间刺绣的发展。到了宋代,天下重归统一,蜀
绣有了更大的发展。据《全蜀艺文志》记载:“蜀土富饶,丝帛所产,民制作冰绣等物,号为冠天下。”可见当时蜀内刺绣之盛。
    
  蜀绣是以四川成都为中心的刺绣产品的总称。它以软缎和彩丝为主要原料,运用独特的绣技,绣制被面、枕套、衣、鞋和画屏等。蜀绣的绣
工和针法特点可以概括为:“针 脚整齐,线片光亮,紧密柔和,车拧到家”。所谓“车”是指刺绣的关键部位,如动物的眼睛,一朵花的花瓣等处,
由中心起针,逐渐向四周扩展。所谓“拧”则是指运用长短不同的针脚,从刺绣形象的外围逐渐向内添针或减针。这种独特的绣工使绣作品有张有
弛,浓淡适度,密疏得体,因而,蜀绣多有水墨写意画的艺术效果。成都蜀绣厂生产的蜀绣艺术珍品里最负盛名的作品要数《鞭蓉鲤鱼》条屏。
此产品在洁白的缎 料上,用几朵粉红色的鞭蓉花作衬托,七条肥腴丰满的鲤鱼,大小参差,前游后随,摇头摆尾,自由自在。看上去,有的动
有的静,有的浮在水面,有的沉在水底,层次分明。
    
  蜀绣的生产企业是四川成都蜀绣厂。1981年,蜀绣作品参加了四川省出口商品展览,赴美国费城展出,深受赞赏。同年在全国工艺美术百
花奖评比会上,蜀绣作品荣获银杯奖。

4. 粤绣
粤绣——又称“广绣”,包括潮州绣。它历史悠久,国内以故宫藏品为最多,具有代表性,它构图繁而不乱,色彩富丽,光彩夺目,针步均匀多
变,纹理分明,多使用浓郁的七彩原色及光影变化,具有西方绘画韵味。它大件为尺高屏风,小如荷包套,多作写生花鸟,按照民间风俗习惯而
富于装饰味,长以凤凰、松鹤、牡丹、猿、鹿、鸡、鹅、孔雀等为题材,混合组成画面,颇具特色。

粤绣是广东刺绣艺术的总称,它包括以广州为中心的"广绣"和以潮州为代表的"潮绣"两大流派。刺绣历史浦远,其技艺精湛,构图装饰性强,色
彩浓郁鲜艳,绣绒平整光亮,文理清晰,绒条洒脱,金银垫绒立体感强,绣工娴熟,绣品富丽堂皇等独特的地方风格和艺术特色,成为中华民族
文化的一个组成部分。我们也可从苏鹗所撰的《杜阳杂篇》中是这样描述广绣的精湛技艺的:"永贞元年南海贡奇女眉娘,年十四,工巧无比,
能于一尺绢上绣《法华经》"七卷,字之大小,不逾粟粒而点划分明,细如毫发,其品题章句,无有遗阙。更善作飞仙,盖以丝一钩分为三股,
染成五色,结为金盖玉重,其中有十洲三岛,天人玉女,台殿麟凤之象,而执幢捧节童子,亦不啻千数,其盖阔一丈,称无三两煎灵香台之则,
坚韧不断。唐顺宗皇帝嘉其工谓之神姑……"。
    
  在唐代至五代十国期间,由于广州属于边疆地区未受到战乱的影响,刺绣与农业、手工业一样得到长足的发展,在宋代至明代粤绣的技艺又
有了进一步的提高。在清朝乾隆年间,广州已设立绣行,在广州和潮州等地也广设绣庄、绣坊,粤绣呈现一派欣欣向荣的景象。解放后,在双百
方针的推动下,名家名作不断涌现。
    
  随着粤绣的繁荣,粤绣的品种也越来越多,应用范围十分广泛,其中高级绣品主要有条幅、挂屏、台屏等,一般绣品则涵盖了日常生活用品
的各个方面,如刺绣画片、金银绒挂裙、被面、枕套、床楣、靠垫、批巾、头巾、各种绣衣、绣鞋、绣袋、戏剧服装、帐衽、台帷等等,也有部
分观赏绣品,如《晨曦》、《百鸟朝凤》、《九龙屏风》、《吹萧引凤》等佳作。粤绣的题材也比较广泛,包括人物、动物、花鸟、龙凤、山水
河川、器皿和各种图案等,其中百鸟朝凤、龙凤、博古则是最具传统特色的题材。  
    
  粤绣包括"广绣"和"潮绣"两大流派,因而其针法也因其流派的不同而不尽相同。"广绣"的针法主要有7 大类30余种,包括直扭针、捆咬针、续
插针、辅助针、编绣、饶绣、变体绣等以及广州钉金绣中的平绣、织锦绣、饶绣、凸绣、贴花绣等6大类10余种针法。而"潮绣"则有二针龙麟转
针、旋针、过桥针、凹针绣、垫筑绣等60多种钉金针法以及40余种绒绣针法,同时,艺人还运用了折绣、插绣、金银勾勒、棕丝勾勒等多种技
巧,使"潮绣"在 "绣、钉、垫、贴、拼、缀"等技艺上更趋完善,产生"平、浮、突、活"的艺术效果。粤绣除采用丰富而多变的针法外,在创作设
计方面还注重主意,善于把寓意吉祥和美好的愿望融入绣品中。在创作方法上采用了源于生活而又重视传统,不满足于现实的描绘而追求着更为
美好的理想,与此同时,还善于涉取绘画和民间剪纸等多种艺术形式的长处,使绣品的构图饱满,繁而不乱,针步均匀,光亮平整,纹理清晰分
明,物像形神兼备,栩栩如生,惟妙惟肖,充分地体现了粤绣的地方风格和艺术特色。

附:开封汴秀
汴绣,古称宋绣。距今已有800多年的历史。据《东京梦华录》记载:北宋东京(今开封)设有“文绣院”,专为帝王嫔妃及达官显贵绣制衣  
服及其他装饰品。“文绣院”主要绣品有绣画、绣额、珠帘、绣伞、绣毯以及皇室用的御袍、龙旗等,具有工艺精细、生动逼真等特点。当  
时民间刺绣也很盛行,相国寺是东京最大的绣品交易市场,“近佛殿占两廊皆绣姑卖绣作”。饭庄酒楼也是“珠帘绣额,灯光晃耀”,到处  
是“彩楼相对”、“绣帘相招”、“锦绣交辉”的景象。  
汴绣的代表作有《清明上河图》和《百骏图》等。《清明上河图》长525厘米,宽25.5厘米,将700多个不同形态的人物、20多只破浪行驶的  
船舶、90多头牲畜、500多座古代建筑,维妙维肖地体现在绣制品上,使绣品上的人物、动物、建筑物具有强烈的立体感和浓厚的民间色彩。  
另一幅代表作《百骏图》,长216厘米,宽29.5厘米,采用了汴绣传统的疏悠针绣百马、创新接针绣松树、滚针绣柳树、细乱针绣草地、蒙针  
绣小树等八种主要针法,使画中草地、河水、古松、翠柏多姿多彩,百骏栩栩如生,充分表现了草原上浓厚的生活气息  

加上汴秀,应作五大名秀。

丝绸的三十四小类(丝绸分类)
主要是按绸面的表现划分。

(1). 双绉:就用平纹组织,经无捻,纬采用二左二右强捻丝,绸面呈均匀绉效应的织品。

(2). 乔其:应用平纹组织,经纬采用二左二右强捻丝,质地衡疏轻薄,绸面有纱眼和绉效应的织品。

(3). 碧绉,经无捻,纬采用碧绉线(20/22Dx3加S捻1600T/m,再并20/22D1根,加Z捻1600T/m),是细密绉纹的织品。

(4). 顺纡:经无捻,纬用单向强捻丝,绸面呈直向绉纹的织品。

(5). 塔夫:应用平纹组织,经纬先练染,质地细密挺括的熟织品。

(6). 电力纺:桑蚕丝(柞于蚕丝)生织平纹织品。

(7). 薄纺:应用桑蚕丝生织,平方米绸重在6m/m及以下的平纹织品。

(8). 绢纺:经纬均采用绢丝的平纹织品。

(9). 绵绸:经纬均采用抽丝的平纹织品。

(10). 双宫:全部或部分采用双宫丝的织品。

(11). 疙瘩:全部或部分采用疙瘩、竹节丝,呈疙瘩效应的织品。

(12). 星纹:应用绉组织的织品。

(13). 罗纹:单面或双面呈轻浮横条的织品。

(14). 花线:全部或部分采用花色捻线或拼色线的织品。

(15). 条:绸面呈现横直条形花纹的织品。

(16). 格:绸面呈现格形花纹的织品。

(17). 透凉:应用假纱组织,构成有似纱眼的透空织品。

(18). 色织:全部或部分采用色丝的织品。

(19). 双面:应用三重组织,正反面均具有同类型斜纹或缎纹组织的织品。

(20). 凹凸:具有凹凸花纹的织品。

(21). 山形;应用山形或锯齿斜纹组织,呈明显山形或锯齿花形的织品。

(22). 花:提花织品。

(23). 修花:经过修剪的提花织品。

(24). 有光:有光粘胶丝或半光铜氨丝的纯人丝织品。

(25). 无光:无光粘胶丝或无光铜氨丝的纯人丝织品。

(26). 闪光采用有光超光异形断面合纤长丝纯织或交织,呈闪光效应的织品。

(27). 亮光:采用金银钱(铝皮)纯织或交织,呈亮光效应的织品。

(28). 生:采用生丝织造,不经精练的织品。

(29). 特染:经或纬丝采用扎染等特种染色工艺,呈二色及扎染花色效应的织品。

(30). 印经:经丝印花后再行织造的织品。

(31). 拉绒:经过拉绒整理的织品。

(32). 立绒:经过立绒整理的织品。

(33). 和服:门幅在40cm以下,或整幅中织有各40cm以下的开剪缝,供加工和服专用品。

(34). 大条:经纬采用柞大条丝的平纹织品。
http://www.marlamallett.com/chinese.htm   Chinese Antique textile

Chinese Embroidery
Embroidery is a very long established art form in China. It was never classified as a solely female activity and men and women have both
been involved in embroidery. The items embroidered are quite diverse and include robes, theatrical costumes, purses, shoes, spectacle
cases, banners, alter cloths and many other pieces. Some of the pieces were so finely stitched that the pieces took 5-6 people several
years to complete. Embroidery was also used as a means of decorating silk clothing and for silk flags and banners as a means of
denoting rank or station. The finest pieces of work were very expensive. Gradually, embroidery developed, as a pastime for wealthy ladies
and many members of the court were renowned for their intricate work.

According to the Chinese there are two main divisions of embroidery, “chih wen” and “tuan chen”. “Chih wen” uses the long and short
stitch, while “tuan chen” involves the seed stitch used in Beijing which is also known as the French knot. The stitches most commonly
used by the Chinese include 1) satin stitch – which is further classified into long and short 2) Beijing stitch or French knot 3) Stem stitch; 4)
Couching; 5) Chain stitch; and 6) Split stitch. All of these stitches are known in the west. Many westerners find Chinese embroidery a little
over done.
The Chinese satin stitch when done to perfection is exquisite in its fine detail. The use of gold thread for the French knot, for
which the Chinese have a special gift, is characteristic of their work. Sometimes even such light material as gauze and paper were
embroidered to demonstrate the fineness of the work.

It is difficult to be precise as to when embroidery first was practiced in China but based on archeological excavations of tombs it at least
dates back to the early Han dynasty which based itself near Lake Baikal in the early second century B.C. Many Tang embroideries continue
to be preserved both in China and in Japan. One of the most famous representations of the embroiders’ artistry is the piece that came
from the Thousand Buddhas at Tun Huang and that dates from the tenth Century.

There are also many fine pieces of embroidery from the Sung dynasty. We know from historical records that the Sung Emperor Hui Tsung
(1101-1126) established an embroidery bureau called the “Wen Hsiu Yuan”. It also is well known that many of the finest pieces were
copied in the Ming and Ching period and it is therefore difficult to definitely attribute many of these pieces.
Chinese Literature records the names of many famous embroidery artists. Among these are Kuan Fu-jen, the wife of the painter Chao
Meng-fu and the ladies of the Ku family in Shanghai such as Ku Shou-ch’ien who worked their artistry in Ming times. The painters Tung ch’i-
ch’ang and Wen Cheng-ming and more recently Sh’en Chou who died in 1910 are all considered great embroiders.

Embroidery is still practiced in many sections of China.
Suzhou is well known for the quality of its work. Additionally other areas have a
reputation for embroidery but few can match the precision, art and charm of the work produced in China prior to the Modern period.
Embroidery Hoop (Square, for large work)
Embroidery Hoop(Round, For mini work)
The final view of hoop stand, hoop with cloth
Embroidery Cloth (Silk)
To select the proper color,
sometimes the cloth need to be
colored if necessary.
Embroidery Threads(Silk)
Also, the threads need to be split up times
according to the artwork requirements.
Embroidery Needles, Scissors & Hoop.
Embroidery Hoop Stand