4. Embroidery Cixiu
Embroidery refers to the decorative textile technique in which a needle stitches polychrome threads onto a ground fabric so as to create the patterns. Needles, thread, scissors and frames are the four major tools for creating a work of embroidery.
Basic embroidery techniques
A variety of stitches were developed over the generations for outlining patterns, shading colours, adding three-dimensionality and representing surface textures.
qizhen (‘straight stitch’)
Parallel straight stitches form the patterns; the stitches can run vertically, horizontally or obliquely.
qiangzhen (‘encroaching satin stitch’)
Short straight stitches are embroidered in layers, resulting in the shading of colours from light to dark or pale to dark.
taozhen (‘long-and-short stitch’)
Dark- and light-coloured long and short stitches are offset to create a fluid and natural colouration.
wangxiu (‘net embroidery’)
Straight, oblique and parallel threads crisscross to form a net-like pattern.