Hand embroidery

Artistic silk embroidery

Artistic embroidery

  • The most common types of silk embroidery
  • How to sew a picture with silk thread
  • employment specialists
  • useful tips
  • Video: Chinese silk embroidery

Chinese silk embroidery is becoming more and more popular and the demand for it is growing by the day. Paintings embroidered with this unique technology are striking with soft vibrating motifs and an amazing, one might even say magical, play of light and shadow. First of all, I would like to point out that embroidering on Chinese silk is quite a complex and painstaking task.

As a rule, it can take an experienced seamstress 3 to 6 months to complete a one-off picture, and in some cases the work can stretch over a whole year. In addition, silk thread is considered a rather finicky material and does not require a particularly reverent posture. Real silk threads are embroidered by hand, as they can get very tangled when worked on a computer.






The most common types of silk embroidery

Four types of silk thread embroidery are most common. They differ from each other in plot, technique and even colour:

  • The most refined and elegant embroidery is considered to be called 'Su'. Its distinctive feature is that the thread used for embroidery is divided into several very fine slices. In addition, this type of embroidery is done with exceptionally tight, smooth and neat stitches. To create a pattern in this technique, a concise and relatively smooth colour palette will be required;
  • Photographs embroidered in the xiang technique most often depict various landscapes, flowers, animals and birds. In this type of embroidery, threads of completely different colours are mixed together, and the stitches are laid out with a certain carelessness;
  • Paintings embroidered with Yue are striking with their vibrant, saturated colours and the presence of gold and silver elements. These images usually depict a dragon or phoenix bird. The stitches in this embroidery must be very precise, even and smooth;
  • A distinctive feature of Shu embroidery is that it uses a very wide variety of stitches, some might even say specific ones. It is embroidered on soft satin fabric with threads that are close in colour to the base itself.

How to sew a picture with silk thread

Before you embroider your chosen image, you will first need to prepare to work comfortably. Also be sure to check beforehand the dyed yarn you have purchased.
To do this, you need to coil the silk thread while it is wet with water. This way, you will need to put the wet thread on a piece of white cloth, and the iron is a well heated iron. If the silk thread disappears, you will immediately notice it.
Here is a short list of materials needed to embroider images with silk thread:

  • a sub-frame, which should exceed the size of the design by about 4 cm;
  • Silk fabric;
  • A special cardboard blank or ready-made embroidery kit;
  • a pencil or chalk;
  • threads in different colours;
  • shorter needles (2.5 cm) with small lugs.

Once you have everything you need to create a masterpiece, you can get down to work:


  • Secure the fabric in a stretcher or stretch it over an embroidery frame. It is best if silk is chosen; it will be monochromatic and natural. This material is very durable and hardly deforms, except for the fact that it is slightly shiny. Remember that Chinese cosmos goes perfectly with blue silk, white or red. But if the embroidery is done in a modern style, a cream or gold coloured silk is preferable;
  • You will then need to attach an empty cardboard box to the silk fabric and carefully cut it with chalk or pencil. So, the term 'field' refers to the future of silk embroidery. Debutant craftswomen would of course be better off buying ready-made silk embroidery kits, which are already part of the fabric itself directly with the printed design;

  • Professionals usually assign a 'Field' to this theme The use of points does not draw, but only parts of it. Beginning seamstresses who decide to master silk embroidery techniques should sketch the whole pattern, as this will make their work much easier;
  • If you have chosen a ten-figure design, you can proceed directly to the embroidery itself. To begin, you will need to use small, neat stitches to secure the fabric thread yourself;
  • You will then need to stitch all the parts of the selected image using a different embroidery colour. You could say that you will have a kind of "shadow" of them. Be very careful and cautious when embroidering, because every wrong stitch will leave unsightly and very visible holes in the silk;
  • This will give you more time to stitch the edges of the coloured duckboards. The stitches should not exceed 1 to 2 mm. This little embroidery will make the focal point appear more voluminous;

  • Once the pale silk embroidery is finished, you will need to cut it. Remember to be sure to leave a small allowance for which you can make a close-up later on;
  • At this stage, glue the embroidery onto the prepared base. You will need any quick-drying transparent glue;
  • Then cut a few pieces of thick fabric of the same size as your stitching and glue them to the back of the pattern. This will help hide the pesky forces;
  • Usually the frame for the picture is embroidered with thread, decorative lace or inserted into the frame. If you choose to embellish the embroidery with silk cord, you will need to glue it to the edge of the picture with clear glue.

Chinese embroidery techniques are truly unique. Even an image of the same object will look different, as each master has his own vision of the world and his own little tricks that are handed down from generation to generation.

Of course, all of us would love to learn how to embroider these amazing paintings, but unfortunately it is quite difficult. To master this technique and to do double-sided painting, you have to study for many years. In China, it is an art that is taught to a child so that an adult can create beautiful silk masterpieces.
Take a closer look at these pieces and imagine how much time and effort spent with such embroidery could have delighted those around you with its ethereal beauty and splendour. But embroidered linen specialists prefer to do with two sides. And silk threads can be embroidered on one side in a delicate light, and on the other in a brighter, more saturated way. To see how to paint a real master of silk embroidery, you can watch a video of silk embroidery works on our website.

It is worth noting that craftsmen embroider on special stretchers that are set at the correct height for them. In addition, the embroidery machine periodically rotates this sub-frame.
The stitches are made at the speed of light, but the fabric stops briefly before it is pierced, selecting a suitable point for future piercing. One gets the impression that the Standing Still embroidery just flickers away from the master's hands like the wings of a butterfly. Of course, this is not the case - the work is not in place. Only this type of embroidery is a very time-consuming and complicated process, and to see any changes, you have to wait several days, and sometimes weeks.

Useful tips

In order for a silk painting to retain its original appearance and be as close as possible to the originals created by Chinese craftsmen, a few rules must be observed:


  • Remember to check the quality of the silk before you start, as it will determine whether the embroidery is beautiful, colourful and durable;
  • The stretcher should be positioned so that your hands are free to work on it, and it can be turned upside down if necessary;
  • Chinese embroidery technique is unique and inimitable. When working with the needle, the silk always comes in and out perpendicular to the fabric;
  • Silk embroidery, do not tie knots in the fabric. the silk thread can be joined on the underside as well as on the front, and this is done with a few small stitches;
  • To give the foil volume or vice versa it is practically transparent by craftsmen using silk threads of different thicknesses;
  • You can create different shades with the same thread because it's easy to change its direction. This is because silk is characterised by its dull lustre;
  • Protect finished paintings from moths and sunlight;
  • Embroidered bed linen should never be stored under glass. This is because in these conditions it will be like 'sweaty' silk and its fibres will soon deteriorate.

It is impossible to put into words and capture the charm of a creation using the unique Chinese silk thread embroidery technique. They put their heart and soul into their work and one can't help but feel a certain respect and admiration when looking at the pictures taken by the professionals. Pictures, embroidered with silk threads, will always be highly appreciated and can decorate the interior of any house. Such fabrics are designed to be reproduced and kept in the family for many years.

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