Chinese embroidery

Double-sided Chinese embroidery

Traditional Chinese embroidery is the oldest in the world. Her best examples are famous for their amazingly skillful work and realism of the image, achieved with the help of the finest silk threads.

Embroidery is a property of Chinese culture and art. Suzhou embroidery is an amazing work in Chinese traditional technology that has been around for over 2000 years.

Double-sided embroidery is done on translucent silk. Embroidery masters manage to hide thread knots in such a way that both sides of the embroidery look exactly the same.

A separate type of double-sided embroidery that requires the highest skill is the execution of two different plots on different sides of one canvas (two different landscapes, a tiger and a peacock, a cat and a dog)!

At the same time, the embroiderer hides the threads of one image under the threads of another and achieves a complete match in the sizes of the depicted objects – looking at a multi-colored peacock, it is impossible to guess that a yellow-brown tiger is embroidered on the opposite side!

There are 3 types of double-sided embroidery

  • the same image and colors on both sides of the canvas.
  • the same image, but different colors on both sides of the canvas.
  • different image and different colors on both sides of the canvas.

Each silk thread is divided into 16 thin threads, depending on the thickness of the thread, the density of embroidery changes. For example, the base of a leaf or petal is embroidered with a thicker thread, and closer to the edges with a thinner thread, this creates a transparency effect.

At present, masters most often use ready-made drawings. That is, a drawing is printed on silk in color and then it is sewn on top with silk, even if the embroidery is not of very high quality, it is not very noticeable in such works.

The cheapest of them are simply sewn with silk stitches. even without completely covering the pattern on the fabric.

Embroidery without a pattern is considered aerobatics. That is, the master embroiders on pure silk, without a pattern, as if drawing a picture with threads.

Knots on the threads are not made. Each new thread is first fastened with small stitches. And then this place is covered with embroidery, the end of the thread is also fastened with small stitches and hidden in the finished embroidery.

In general, there are not many secrets in silk embroidery, ordinary satin stitch embroidery. The secret is all in the threads. Silk has a matte sheen and due to the refraction of light gives many shades.

The needles are also special, short, 2.5 centimeters, with a small eye. The fabric is stretched on a special frame in which you can change the tension, the hoop is not used.

Subtleties and technique

The whole surface of the fabric was covered with embroidery on both sides, including the background (under the color of the background, of course).

Then the light passed through the base and the pattern through the SAME obstacles, and did not change the intensity (that is, there were no shadows).

But it is only in words so simple. In fact, this at least means that the thickness of the threads should be four times less than that used for ordinary embroidery, and the laboriousness of such a product is truly fantastic.

In the works of students, embroidery occupies the entire canvas. The highest degree of skill and a distinctive feature of the master is the presence in the work of a space free from embroidery.

And that is not all! There remains the problem of the contour, which, even in fabrics of equal thickness, will still be noticeable, through the places where the holes are pierced with a needle and the thread is passed through the warp. Apparently, the embroidery was one continuous thread, “spliced” from pieces of different colors!

The “two-layer” embroidery technique is very interesting. The second layer, for example the forest (background), is embroidered on thick silk. And the first, for example birds, is embroidered on transparent silk. And when they are superimposed on each other, there is a depth effect.

Suzhou – cities master

For more than two thousand years, the skill of Chinese silk-on-silk embroidery has been perfected. The works of embroiderers amaze with their extraordinary craftsmanship.

Silk threads of various thicknesses and many shades are laid on the canvas, creating the finest texture that reflects and transmits light.

This creates a complete feeling of airy space and the playful brilliance of water ripples on landscape canvases. Embroidered portraits are extremely realistic.

More than a thousand shades of colors and a special thoughtful styling of the stitches give the impression that the hair of the characters is natural.

Chinese masters are also famous for the technique of embroidery with human hair on silk. Embroidered copies of watercolor works evoke particular delight in the viewer.

The painting “Cave” (Pan Weihong, different embroidery technique) impresses not only with its color scheme and size (approximately 2 1.5 m), but also with the fact that the master spent more than 8 years on it (approximately 5 hours every day).

At the same time, each embroiderer has only one embroidery in her work. And until it is finished, the craftswoman will not start another embroidery.

Not a single photograph can convey the play of light on silk threads, and printed letters will never replace live communication. But even so, according to the photo – the work is simply amazing.