How Do the Silk Culture Develop?

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How Do the Silk Culture Develop?

The silk is the symbol of ancient culture, making a indelible contributions to improve the development of human civilization in the world. The silk is world-renowned for its excellent quality, delicate color design and rich culture connotation. Meanwhile, it is also the symbol of the noble status of China ancient emperors and China’s ancient imperial power with embroidering twelve badge textures on the silk, through all dynasties gradually becoming the special decoration of Chinese emperors.

Thousands years ago, the silk was spread from China Chang’ an along the Silk Road to Europe, bringing not only the gorgeous costumes and accessories but the eastern ancient brilliant civilization. From that time, silk almost became the disseminator  and symbol of oriental civilization. China’s four famous embroideries and three famous brocades are the magnificent crystallization of silk culture.

Three famous brocades

Song Brocade

Song brocade originated from the late Song Dynasty and the major production place is in SuZhou. The touch of the pattern is delicate and precise with firm but soft texture; the patterns are symmetrical and rigorous but changeable, abundant, and smooth; the use of color is colorful but not dazzling, manifold but disordered; and the craftsmanship is mainly characterized by simultaneous display through warp and weft. Song brocade has highly strong practicality, wear resistant and repeated washing allowed, widely applicable.

Sichuan Brocade

Sichuan brocade originally referred to the colorful brocades produced by Sichuan and then became the general name of the brocades produced in place similar weaving ways to Shu. Sichuan brocade is mostly woven by colored mature silk. Utilizing warp to appear flowers and then using color strips to paint or adding flowers, it’s woven by combining geometry graphic organization with decorative patterns. The patterns sources of Sichuan brocade are extensive, such as myths and legends, historical stories, Zhanxiang inscription, landscapes and figures, plants and animals, etc. Chengdu “Jinguan City” is named in Qin and Han Dynasties, and the brocade fabrics from THE Qin and Han Dynasties to the Suitang Dynasty almost are Sichuan brocades, one of the major exchange commodities of the Silk Road as well as the predecessor of kyoto west array weaving, a traditional Japanese handcraft in national treasure level.


Nanjing Brocade

It referred to a kind of jacquard silk weaving handcraft, delicate weaving, exquisite patterns, colorful brocade pattern, collecting the silk weaving techniques from previous dynasties and integrating other various precious experience of silk weaving techniques together, which reaches the peak of silk weaving techniques. The main characteristic of Nanjing brocade is flowers vary from different colors, while watching from different angles, the flowers on the silk fabrics are different. The history of Nanjing brocade can be trace back to Song dynasty, it’s named for its glorious and bright luster, just like the cloud in the sky. Prevailing in Ming and the Qing Dynasties, Nanjing brocade is the royal tribute of the Yuan, Ming, and Qing three dynasties, considered as the last milestone of ancient Chinese brocade techniques craftsmanship. In September, 2009, Nanjing brocade was selected to the United Nation List of representative works of human intangible cultural heritage.

 

Four famous embroideries

Hunan Embroidery

 Hunan embroidery is the general name of embroidery products centered in Changsha, Hunnan. It separately obtained the best award and the first prize an the at the Turin Expo in 1912 and the Panama world expo in 1933, honored as the super embroidery abroad. The characteristic of Hunan embroidery is to embroider flowers by velvet thread (untwisted yarn), which actually is to handle the velvet threads in the solution to prevent pilling, the embroidery products are called ”wool embroidery” in local. Hunan embroidery is mostly subject to traditional Chinese paintings, lively and realistic form, bold style, once reputed to “ Embroider the flowers can smell fragrance, embroider the birds can hear the sound, embroider the tigers can run, embroider the people can be true to life.” The humanistic painting of Hunan embroidery’s color matching characteristic is dark and light gray, black and white as a focus, simple but elegant as Chinese brush painting. The daily uses of Hunan embroidery’s color matching is bright and the pattern has strong decorative functions.

 Sichuan Embroidery

 Sichuan embroidery is also called “Chuan embroidery”, which is the general name of Sichuan embroidery products centered in Chengdu. Sichuan embroidery has time-honor history. According to the records on annals of Chronicles of Huayang by Chang Yu, the Jin dynasty, the embroidery in Shuzhong was already very renowned at that time and Sichuan embroidery and Sichuan brocade were considered as the famous products in Sichuan. Sichuan embroidery is mainly made of soft satin and colored silk, and rich types of stitches give full play to advantage of hand-made embroidery forming a strong local style. Sichuan embroidery is subject to flowers and birds, four-foot animals, landscapes, and figures. In addition to the pure appreciation embroidery screen, there still has quilts, clothes, shoes, cushions, scarfs, handkerchiefs, painted screens, etc. Not only do it have the giant strip screen but the small items, which are the exquisite art works with both appreciation and practicality.

Suzhou Embroidery

Suzhou embroidery is the general name of the embroidery products centered in Jiangsu Suzhou including Jiangsu areas. The original place the Suzhou embroidery is in Wu County, Suzhou bordering Taihu lake with climate temperature and silk abound. Local women have always been good at embroidery. Excellent geographical environment and colorful brocade create a favorable condition for the development of Suzhou embroidery. In the long-term development of history, Suzhou embroidery has formed the local style of bright pattern, harmonious color, bright lines, active stitches, and delicate embroidery techniques, considered as the “Eastern Pearl.”

 Cantonese Embroidery

 Cantonese embroidery is the general name of Guangdong embroidery art including two schools centered in the “Guang embroidery” of Guangzhou and represented by “Chao embroidery” of Chaozhou. Previously, the embroidery workers were mostly the men from Guangzhou and Chaozhou, which is pretty rare in the world. Cantonese embroidery started from Tang Dynasty and formed the distinguishing features in the Mid and Late Ming Dynasty, then Qing Dynasty was famed abroad for exporting from Guangzhou port. Excellent techniques, strong decorative composition, rich and bright color, flat and bright embroidered velvet, clear texture, free velvet stripes.

 

imperial Costume

Twelve Badge Textures

 China is a land of etiquette and an ancient country of clothing. The development of China silk is also a epitome of the brilliant ritual system of etiquette to a certain extent. The clothing the ancient emperors wore have special marks requiring a formal costume system to rule and strictly carry out. They are involved from the color and design of clothes to the length and material of silk threads. Therefore, imperial costume is the yardstick and cornerstone of the whole costume system.

Before the Zhou Dynasty, the imperial costume which is Hui embroidery has the twelve decorative patterns referred above. By the Zhou Dynasty, because there are sun, moon, and star graphics on the flags so it’s no need to repeat on the emperor costume that twelve badges change to nine badges. The order of the decorations are led by the dragon and the dragons, mountains, corona, worms, fire, and sacrificial vessels of the royal ancestral shrine are hand painting, while the algae, rice flour, oyster, and oyster are embroidered. The dynasties later years basically continued the traditional pattern which gradually become the special texture decoration of Chinese emperors. It ‘s a symbol of Chinese imperial power and the dragon and phoenix on the twelve badges are gradually specifically used by the emperors specifically. The dragon become the symbol of emperors and the phoenix is the representative of noble female. What’s more, the silk has become the best weaving fabrics to load the twelve badges and symbol of noble status with its complicated and particular techniques, super high wearing comfort and high-level beauty.

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