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Chinese Embroidery

Embroidery is a long established traditional art in China, as well as all over the world. Consisting of pulling threads through background material, the art of embroidering is quite simple, however, it is the complex styles and techniques which gives an added flavour to Chinese embroidery. Already flourishing by the early Qin and Han dynasties, silk and embroidery were some of the main produce to be transported for trade along the silk road. China's skill in embroidery is partly due to the excellence of its raw materials. China was the first country to discover and domesticate the silkworm, over 5000 years ago. It was the production of silk and thread that could give way to the use of embroidery as an expressive art form.
Different areas have their own unique styles and patterns of embroidery, and China, with its vast area, is no different to this. The book of history (Shangshu), demanded that dresses and skirts be designed with embroidery, suggesting that by 4000 years ago, this was an established cultural art form. There are four famous styles of Chinese embroidery, origination from for separate provinces. These include the embroidery of the Jiangsu province, or Su embroidery, the Xiang embroidery from the Hunan Province, as well as the style from the Sichuan Province, or Shu style of embroidery, and the Yue embroidery from the Guangdong Province. These four different styles emphasise how embroidery is a folk art, which can change widely depending on the locality of the product.

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