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Folk Embroidery
Embroidery of Panda
China Information - China Folk Culture and Art
Folk Embroidery

Folk Embroidery

China is the first country in the world that discovered the use of silk. Silkworms were domesticated as early as 5000 years ago. The production of
silk thread and fabrics gave rise to the art of embroidery. According to the classical Shangshu(or Book of History), the "regulations on costumes" of
4000 years ago stipulated among other things "dresses and skirts with designs and embroideries". This is evidence that embroidery had become
an established art by that remote time.

In 1958 a piece of silk was found in a tomb of the state of Chu of the Warring Sates Period (475-221B.C). It is embroidered with a dragon-and-
phoenix design. More than 2000 years old, it is the earliest piece of Chinese embroidery ever unearthed.

The art became widespread during the Han Dynasty (206 B.C.-220 A.D.); many embroidered finds date back to that period. Most of the folk
embroideries in China are made by rural women, especially unmarried young women who express their feelings through embroidery. Before a
young woman gets married, she would embroider pillow cases, shoe-pads, and pouches and then gives them to her future husband and his
relatives and friends. In this way, she shows her lively mind and dextrous hands. Aunts often give their small nephews and nieces shoes and hats
with an embroidered pattern of the tiger’s head, undergarments covering the chest and abdomen, or cloth tigers, hoping to remove the
youngsters’ill fortune and bless them to live to a ripe old age. Unmarried young women offer exquisite embroidered pieces to their sweethearts to
express their love and affection. The folk embroidery is simple, unsophisticated, and natural. It varies in style and covers a wide range of subjects.
It is an art of beauty and has a profoundly implied meaning. As time goes on, the folk embroidery is increasingly loved by the people. It becomes a
gem of the Chinese folk art.

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