Embroidery, a craft that weaves threads into intricate designs, holds a profound significance in Chinese history. There are many types of embroidery, with varying techniques developed by different communities.
Silkinc has a clear commitment to not merely preserving tradition but also promoting the dynamic evolution of Chinese embroidery, blending heritage with innovation. We are committed to balancing tradition and modernity through our garments.
History of Su embroidery
Silkinc specializes in Su embroidery, a time-honored technique originating in Suzhou and dating back 2000 years making it one of the world's oldest embroidery methods. This style is characterized by brightly colored silk threads intricately embroidered with well-proportioned and uncluttered representations of pastoral scenes, people, animals, or objects. The peak of Su embroidery's prominence was during the Song Dynasty (960 - 1279) in China, where the technique flourished and spread across provinces. Embroiderers from the Suzhou region crafted images that were acclaimed for "rivalling nature," making Su embroidery a historical symbol for style in households.
The Jiangnan Weaving House
At the heart of this legacy is the Jiangnan Weaving House, an ancient institution preserving Chinese embroidery techniques that Silkinc has had a strong partnership with since its founding. Historically, Jiangnan Weaving House was where the Imperial Court in China used to buy their silk products, as silk was once a symbol of power, glory, and status. Silkinc has meticulously developed collections that blend Jiangnan’s exquisite craftsmanship and patented techniques with modern silk patterns, ensuring that Chinese heritage is elegantly woven into everyday pieces all over the world.
Today’s significance of Su embroidery
Su embroidery took center stage at the G20 summit in 2016 when a silk scarf, created by our incubator organization XiuNiang, was chosen as the national gift to the leaders. This exquisite scarf showcased the mastery of four distinct stitching methods in Su embroidery–flat, random needle, seed, and pan gold–elegantly portraying the timeless beauty of peonies and osmanthus flowers. The choice of Su embroidery for such a prestigious occasion underscores its status as a valuable craft in China and the leader among the country's four most famous embroidery styles. Qiulan Qi, the founder of XiuNiang said, “Silk is not only a simple fabric, it is the epitome of Chinese culture and nation-building confidence,” and Su embroidery is a core part of this story.
Silkinc is rooted in a rich embroidery culture, surrounded by mature techniques that provide a robust foundation for our craft. Many of our garments seamlessly integrate intricate embroidery, and on close examination, you will see swan goose embroidery subtly woven into our Gentlewoman collection, small patterns in our Rabbit Collections and more to come!
Employment opportunities in embroidery
At Silkinc, our commitment to preserving and expanding the rich tradition of embroidery is evident in our robust silk supply chain, which boasts over 100 skilled embroiderers. Recognizing the significance of embroidery heritage beyond the popular Su embroidery, we are dedicated to promoting diverse embroidery techniques.
In pursuit of this goal, we went to Yunnan to provide Su embroidery training to local embroiderers and explore opportunities for a harmonious fusion of Yi and Su embroidery. This activity is a “two-way empowerment” that has inspired our next collections in 2024.
With every stitch, we express our commitment to not only preserving cultural heritage but also showcasing the beauty of Chinese craftsmanship to the world. As we continue to indulge in the intricate beauty of embroidery, our journey is a testament to the timeless allure of Su embroidery, resonating with audiences worldwide and reinforcing our dedication to keeping this exquisite craft alive for generations to come.