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              Embroidery
              Learn Chinese - History and Culture

                  Embroidery
              Embroidery
              (cì xiù 刺繡), a folk art with a history of more than 3000 years, has an important position in the history of Chinese arts and crafts. On a piece of silk or cloth, people embroider all kinds of beautiful pictures and patterns with threads of silk, wool or cotton. Among various kinds of embroidery, the best products come from four provinces: Jiangsu (jiāng sū 江蘇), Hunan (hú nán 湖南), Guangdong (guǎng dōng 廣東) and Sichuan (sì chuān 四川).

              Suzhou EmbroiderySuzhou Embroidery, or Su Xiu (sū xiù 蘇繡), has a history of more than 2000 years. Suzhou artists are able to use more than 40 ways of needling and 1000 different types of threads to make flowers, birds, animals and even gardens on a piece of cloth. 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 Hunan Embroideryvalues. Double-sided embroidery is an excellent representative of Su embroidery. The best-known work is an embroidered cat with bright eyes and fluffy hair, looking vivid and lifelike.

              Hunan Embroidery, or Xiang Xiu (xiāng xiù 湘繡), has a history of at least 2000 years as well. Since artists of traditional Chinese painting are involved in designing pictures and patterns. Xiang embroidery is well known for its time-honored history, excellent craftsmanship and unique style. 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.


              Guangdong Embroidery
              , or Yue Xiu (yuè xiù 粵繡), dates back to at least 1000 years. Guangdong EmbroideryInfluenced 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. Guangdong Embroidery is usually colorful and bright with neat patterns, with a dragon and phoenix predominating among the images. Prominent works are “Hundred Birds Pay Homage to the Phoenix” (bǎi niǎo cháo fèng 百鳥朝鳳) and “Screen of Nine Dragons”(jiǔ lóng píng fēng 九龍屏風).

              Sichuan EmbroiderySichuan Embroidery, or Shu Xiu (shǔ xiù 蜀繡), became known as early as 1000 years ago. 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. The exemplary work are “Hibiscus and Carps”(fú róng lǐ yú 芙蓉鯉魚) and “Roosters and Coxcomb”(gōng jī jī guān huā 公雞雞冠花).

              Apart from the above four types, fine embroidery is also made in Beijing (běi jīng 北京), Wenzhou (wēn zhōu 溫州), Shanghai (shàng hǎi 上海) and by the Miao ethnic communities (miáo zú 苗族).

              刺繡
              Embroidery      刺繡,古稱針繡,是用繡針引彩線,按設計的花紋在紡織品上刺繡運針,以繡跡構成花紋圖案的一種工藝。古代稱“黹”、“針黹”。因刺繡多為婦女所作,故又名"女紅"。刺繡是中國古老的手工技藝之一,我國的手工刺繡工藝,已經有2000多年歷史了。據《尚書》載,遠在4000多年前的章服制度,就規定“衣畫而裳繡”。至周代,有“繡繢共職”的記載。湖北和湖南出土的戰國、兩漢的繡品,水平都很高。唐宋刺繡施針勻細,設色豐富,盛行用刺繡作書畫,飾件等。明清時封建王朝的宮廷繡工規模很大,民間刺繡也得到進一步發展,先后產了蘇繡、粵繡、湘繡、蜀繡,號稱“四大名繡”。四大名繡最能直接體現中國刺繡的特色和藝術價值。

                    蘇繡已有兩千六百多年歷史,在宋代已具相當規模,那時蘇州就出現有繡衣坊、繡花弄、滾繡坊、繡線巷等生產集中的坊巷。明代蘇繡已逐步形成自己獨特的風格,影響較廣。清代為盛期,當時的皇室繡品,多出自蘇繡藝人之手;民間刺繡更是豐富多彩。蘇州刺繡素以精細、雅潔著稱。圖案秀麗,色澤文靜,針法靈活,繡工細致,形象傳神。技巧特點可概括為“平、光、齊、勻、和、順、細、密”八個字。針法有幾十種,常用的有齊針、搶針、套針、網繡、紗繡等。繡品分兩大類:一類是實用品,有被面、枕套、繡衣、戲衣、臺毯、靠墊等;一類是欣賞品,有臺屏、掛軸、屏風等。取材廣泛,有花卉、動物、人物、山水、書法等。雙面繡《金魚》、《小貓》是蘇繡的代表作。

              Embroidery     湘繡是以湖南長沙為中心的刺繡品的總稱。是在湖南民間刺繡的基礎上,吸取了蘇繡和粵繡的優點而發展起來的。清代嘉慶年間,長沙縣就有很多婦女從事刺繡,光緒二十四年(1898),優秀繡工胡蓮仙的兒子吳漢臣,在長沙開設第一家自繡自銷的“吳彩霞繡坊”,作品精良,流傳各地,湘繡從而聞名全國。湘繡的特點是用絲絨線(無拈絨線)繡花,劈絲細致,繡件絨面花型具有真實感。常以中國畫為藍本,色彩豐富鮮艷,十分強調顏色的陰陽濃淡,形態生動逼真,風格豪放,曾有“繡花能生香,繡鳥能聽聲,繡虎能奔跑,繡人能傳神”的美譽。湘繡以特殊的鬅毛針繡出的獅、虎等動物,毛絲有力、威武雄健。

                    粵繡亦稱“廣繡”,泛指廣東近兩、三個世紀的刺繡品而言?;浝C歷史悠久,相傳最初創始于少數民族,與黎族所制織錦同出一源。遠在明代,粵繡就用孔雀羽編線為繡,使繡品金翠奪目,又用馬尾毛纏絨作勒線,使粵繡勾勒技法有更好表現;至清代粵繡得到了更大發展。國內收藏以故宮藏為最多而有代表性。構圖繁而不亂,色彩富麗奪目,針步均勻,針法多變,紋理分明,善留水路?;浝C品類繁多,欣賞品主要有條幅、掛屏、臺屏等;實用品有被面、枕套、床楣、披巾、頭巾、臺帷和繡服等。一般多作寫生花鳥,富于裝飾味,常以鳳凰、牡丹、松鶴、猿、鹿以及雞、鵝等為題材,混合組成畫面。婦女衣袖、裙面,則多作滿地折枝花,鋪絨極薄,平貼紬面。配色選用反差強烈的色線,常用紅綠相間,眩耀人眼,宜于渲染歡樂熱鬧氣氛。

              Embroidery      又名“川繡”。是以四川成都為中心的刺繡品的總稱。歷史悠久。據晉代常璩《華陽國志》載,當時蜀中刺繡已很聞名,同蜀錦齊名,都被譽為蜀中之寶。清代道光時期,蜀繡已形成專業生產,成都市內發展有很多繡花鋪,既繡又賣。蜀繡以軟緞和彩絲為主要原料。題材內容有山水、人物、花鳥、蟲魚等。針法經初步整理,有套針、暈針、斜滾針、旋流針、參針、棚參針、編織針等100多種。品種有被面、枕套、繡衣、鞋面等日用品和臺屏、掛屏等欣賞品。蜀繡的特點:形象生動,色彩鮮艷,富有立體感,短針細密,針腳平齊,片線光亮,變化豐富,具有濃厚的地方特色。蜀繡中以繡制龍鳳軟緞被面和傳統產品《芙蓉鯉魚》最為著名。

                    除了四大名繡之外,還有顧繡,京繡、甌繡、魯繡、閩繡、汴繡、漢繡、麻繡和苗繡等,都各具風格,沿傳迄今,歷久不衰。

               

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