Silk Culture

China has four types of silk embroidery:

苏绣 su xiu           Silk embroidery from Suzhou

湘 绣 xiang xiu       from Hunan

粤绣 yue xiu           Guangdong silk embroidery

蜀绣 shu xiu          Shu embroidery. Shu is the name of an ancient state in Sichuan. Sichuan is still known as Shu.

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Suzhou street scene selling silk clothes

Silk features in numerous songs, poems and novels thoughout history. Song dynasty poet Zhang Yu (张俞):wrote this poem

蚕奴                 The silkworm lady

 昨日入城市      I went to the city yesterday

归来泪满巾      Back home, tears filled my towel

遍身罗衣者      Those dressed in silk clothing

不是养蚕人      Are not the people who raised the silkworms

Silk is used to make many other items .. umbrellas, fans… even chopstick covers.

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umbrellas made from silk
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silk clothes
silk chopstick covers

Silk was used in ancient times as a kind of paper – messages were written in elegant calligraphy on silk.

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Silk embroidery

The Qing Ming Tu is a silk embroidery, depicting scenes at Qing Ming festival, from the Qing dynasty.