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    Junior Member LemuelPew is an unknown quantity at this point
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    Chinese Embroidery

    The art of embroidery was widespread throughout China in the Han Dynasty (BC 206 ? AD 220). Four distinctive styles, or schools, of embroidery emerged at that time, though each would reach their pinnacle after the blossoming of the Silk Road trade created a demand for Chinese goods.

    The earliest examples of Chinese embroidery stem from the Zhou Dynasty (1027 ? 221 BC). It is unclear whether this was the origin of embroidery because Egypt and Northern Europe also have early examples. Ancient Chinese embroidery was crafted using silk, because spinning from silkworms had already been mastered. Curiously, Chinese embroidery was originally the domain of males; it was only later that Chinese men realized that women were better at it.

    The four schools of Chinese embroidery are now designated by the government as a Chinese Intangible Cultural Heritage. They are: Shu embroidery, Xiang embroidery, Su embroidery, and Yue embroidery. Miao Embroidery is a separate style of embroidery from a minority group.

    The Shu School of Chinese Embroidery
    Shu embroidery has particularly been associated with the city of Chengdu, capital Sichuan Province. Both "Shu" and "Chuan" are abbreviations used for Sichuan, so Shu embroidery has also been called Chuan embroidery. The most salient features of Shu embroidery are:

    Shu EmbroideryLovely pandas feature with Shu embroidery.
    It is tightly stitched ? necessary for intricate work (think high-pixel versus low-pixel resolution).
    It excels in the art of mixing threads in a gradually increasing fashion to effortlessly transition from one solid color to another.
    It the natural world. The panda is a current popular motif as Chengdu is the home for the panda.
    It is typically done on soft, satin fabric and makes use of brightly coloured threads.
    It follows strict, tradition-bound principles, that are divided into 12 primary weaving categories which result in 122 subcategories.
    Its products include quilt covers, pillow cases, table cloths, chair cushions, scarves and handkerchiefs.
    Shu embroidery can be found in the shops of Chengdu that specialize in such items, such as in the Hongqi Shopping Store chain, with prices as low as 300 Yuan (about $44 USD). Shu embroidery can also be found at the Shu Brocade Academy in Chengdu. For Shu embroidery stores see Chengdu Shopping.

    China Highlights' Chengdu tours provide customers a great chance to explore the city's remarkable history with a chance to buy Shu embroidery.

    The Xiang School of Chinese Embroidery (docsbay.net/slow-design-in-chinese-su-xiu-embroidery-for-apparel)
    Xiang embroidery has historically been associated with Hunan Province. "Xiang" is an abbreviation for Hunan, which comes from the Xiang River which runs through the province.

    The most salient features of Xiang embroidery are:

    Xiang EmbroideryThis lifelike picture of cranes is an example of Xiang embroidery.
    It deliberately mimics other art forms such as painting, engraving and calligraphy.
    It's "reversible" with separate imagery on both sides.
    It specializes in a satin look, the depictions have very soft, smooth surfaces.
    Its motifs are typically "broad-brush" humans, birds, animals, and landscapes, among which depictions of lions and tigers dominate.
    It emphasizes few colors, with large solid-color surfaces. Intricate patterns was never the goal, but instead simple and bold.
    Xiang embroidery was much prized in the Qing Dynasty (1644?1912) especially, but it has won many international awards in expositions since.

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