We are independent & ad-supported. We may earn a commission for purchases made through our links.
Advertiser Disclosure
Our website is an independent, advertising-supported platform. We provide our content free of charge to our readers, and to keep it that way, we rely on revenue generated through advertisements and affiliate partnerships. This means that when you click on certain links on our site and make a purchase, we may earn a commission. Learn more.
How We Make Money
We sustain our operations through affiliate commissions and advertising. If you click on an affiliate link and make a purchase, we may receive a commission from the merchant at no additional cost to you. We also display advertisements on our website, which help generate revenue to support our work and keep our content free for readers. Our editorial team operates independently of our advertising and affiliate partnerships to ensure that our content remains unbiased and focused on providing you with the best information and recommendations based on thorough research and honest evaluations. To remain transparent, we’ve provided a list of our current affiliate partners here.

What is Chinese Embroidery?

K.C. Bruning
By
Updated Feb 20, 2024
Our promise to you
WiseGeek is dedicated to creating trustworthy, high-quality content that always prioritizes transparency, integrity, and inclusivity above all else. Our ensure that our content creation and review process includes rigorous fact-checking, evidence-based, and continual updates to ensure accuracy and reliability.

Our Promise to you

Founded in 2002, our company has been a trusted resource for readers seeking informative and engaging content. Our dedication to quality remains unwavering—and will never change. We follow a strict editorial policy, ensuring that our content is authored by highly qualified professionals and edited by subject matter experts. This guarantees that everything we publish is objective, accurate, and trustworthy.

Over the years, we've refined our approach to cover a wide range of topics, providing readers with reliable and practical advice to enhance their knowledge and skills. That's why millions of readers turn to us each year. Join us in celebrating the joy of learning, guided by standards you can trust.

Editorial Standards

At WiseGeek, we are committed to creating content that you can trust. Our editorial process is designed to ensure that every piece of content we publish is accurate, reliable, and informative.

Our team of experienced writers and editors follows a strict set of guidelines to ensure the highest quality content. We conduct thorough research, fact-check all information, and rely on credible sources to back up our claims. Our content is reviewed by subject-matter experts to ensure accuracy and clarity.

We believe in transparency and maintain editorial independence from our advertisers. Our team does not receive direct compensation from advertisers, allowing us to create unbiased content that prioritizes your interests.

Chinese embroidery is an ancient form of needlework in which intricate designs are sewn onto items such as tapestries, garments, and other textiles. Traditionally, it has typically been sewn with silk thread onto silk fabric. It was originally only crafted for and by the upper classes, but eventually made its way to the masses, where it became a common skill among Chinese women. The style has evolved from simple chain stitches with spaces in between to dense fields of designs with a wide array of colors and stitch styles. The four most popular styles of Chinese embroidery are su xiu, xiang xiu, yue xiu — also known as guang xiu — and shu xiu.

Most Chinese embroidery consists of two types of stitches — the long and short chih wen stitch and a form of seed stitch known as tuan chen — which are both used in the four primary styles. Su xiu embroidery is practiced in the region of the Suzhou, Jiangsou Province, and is known for its particularly high quality and variety. Xiang xiu style, which is common in Changsha, Hunan Province, is less colorful and notable for its distinctive use of dimension and space. The more colorful, symmetrical yue xiu or guang xiu style is practiced in the Chaozhou, Guandong Province. The oldest variety of Chinese embroidery is the shu xiu style of the Chengdu, Sichuan Province.

Chinese embroidery is the oldest known form of needlework. It has been traced back to the Neolithic Age, which marked the end of the Stone Age. Scraps of embroidery have been found in tombs that are thousands of years old. During this period, the Chinese learned how to use the silkworm to produce thread, creating the means for the art form.

In its early days, the art of Chinese embroidery was primarily practiced by wealthy individuals who lived in the royal courts. It was here that several artists developed and became renowned for their work. As the need for embroidered items among the upper classes increased, commoners began to learn to embroider in order to provide goods for their superiors. Less affluent households had very few embroidered items of their own, in contrast to the lavish works that were abundant among the wealthy.

Some of the most popular items depicted in traditional Chinese embroidery include animals, flowers, trees, and religious imagery such as tributes to Buddha. Items for every day use, such as robes and blankets, tended to be more decorative, with flowers and birds being common themes. Tapestries were more elaborate and depicted things such as detailed religious scenes and maps.

WiseGeek is dedicated to providing accurate and trustworthy information. We carefully select reputable sources and employ a rigorous fact-checking process to maintain the highest standards. To learn more about our commitment to accuracy, read our editorial process.
K.C. Bruning
By K.C. Bruning
Kendahl Cruver Bruning, a versatile writer and editor, creates engaging content for a wide range of publications and platforms, including WiseGeek. With a degree in English, she crafts compelling blog posts, web copy, resumes, and articles that resonate with readers. Bruning also showcases her passion for writing and learning through her own review site and podcast, offering unique perspectives on various topics.
Discussion Comments
K.C. Bruning
K.C. Bruning
Kendahl Cruver Bruning, a versatile writer and editor, creates engaging content for a wide range of publications and...
Learn more
WiseGeek, in your inbox

Our latest articles, guides, and more, delivered daily.

WiseGeek, in your inbox

Our latest articles, guides, and more, delivered daily.