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Suzhou Silk Embroidery, also called SuShiu in Chinese, is one of the most renowned traditional folk arts originated in Suzhou, southeast China. In over 2500 years of documented history, Su Embroidery served the royal family exclusively. It had become the most sought-after art of all time. Its beautiful patterns, vivid shining colors and elaborate needlework is appreciated by people around the world.

Two styles of needlework are most common in Su Embroidery: Parallel-Stitch and Random-Stitch. (Also known as Cross Stitch)

Parallel stitched embroidery is characterized by its neat, close and fine stitches to show the delicacy of the patterns. Using only 1/16 of a single silk thread, parallel stitch is capable of capture even the finest detail. It is usually seen in flowers, buildings and portraits.

( The picture to the right shows a garden door sewed with these stitches. Click on the picture to enlarge. )


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( The picture to the left shows another silk embroidery sewed with these stitches. Click on the picture to enlarge.)

( The picture to the right shows another silk embroidery picture made with this style of needlework. Click on the picture to enlarge. )


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Random – Stitch embroidery, as the name implies, uses stitches of different lengths and directions at seemingly random overlapping layers to achieve a natural blend of color and to add depth for the final work.

( The picture to the right shows a silk embroidery with random stitches. Over 6 layers of stitch work not only blend colors smoothly and flawlessly, but also have created a 3-dimensional look to the art work.  Click on the picture to enlarge. )


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( The picture to the left was made with over 8 layers. Layers of threads build the depth. Click on the picture to enlarge. )

( The picture to the right shows another silk embroidery picture made by random stitches. With over 10 layers, dimensions and shadows are created. Click on the picture to enlarge. )


( Click here to see more landscapes )

Su embroidery also appears in double-sided. There are three categories of double-sided embroidery: same patterns and colors on both sides; same patterns with different colors on each side and different patterns with different colors on each side. Only experienced artists with a talented head, a patient heart and skillful hands are able to synchronize the two sides in harmony.

( The picture to the right shows some double-sided embroidery silk artworks with frame and stand. Click on the picture to enlarge. )

( The pictures to the left show the two sides of a double-sided silk embroidery artwork with same pattern and color on each side. Click on the pictures to enlarge. )

The embroidery process begins with framing a piece of silk fabric tightly over a wood stretcher. The design is then sketched on the silk fabric by drawing simple outlines, then the artists use fine needles and colored silk threads to bring the image to life.

( The picture to the right shows the first step of drawing simple outlines. Click on the picture to enlarge. )

( The picture to the right shows the second step of using fine needle and color silk threads to bring the image to life. Click on the picture to enlarge. )

( The picture to the right shows the finished product. Click on the picture to enlarge. )

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