Xiang embroidery, one of the Four Great Embroideries in China, is world famous for its exquisite embroidery techniques, unique features, and long history.
Xiang embroidery uses unique techniques that are generally based on Chinese painting, although it also includes techniques of engraving, calligraphy, and embroidery. This combination of techniques produced a new and unique embroidery product, double-faced and with different images and colors on each side of a transparent chiffon, which greatly uplifted the artistic value of Xiang embroidery. The main threads used include pure silk, satin, transparent gauze, and nylon.
This exhibit showcases a collection of Women’s embroidery clothing from the Qing Dynasty (1644 -1911) through to the early Republic of China (1912 -1949). While gowns, coats, jackets, waistcoats, pants, and skirts are the main focus of the exhibit, it also includes a broad range of finery, such as hats, scarves, bags, bibs, collars, cuffs, and lace, among other finery. It covers the imperial and folk, Han and minority ethnics clothing and finery and reflects West/East culture inter-influence on the art and style development of embroidery. Most importantly, it vividly represents the embroidery techniques, aesthetics, and charm of the Hunan Xiang Embroidery.
As enthusiastic collectors and acclaimed scholars on the subject, Mr. and Mrs. Zou have been collecting and studying traditional Hunan Xiang embroidery for over a decade. They have published several books, which embody their passion for the art of Hunan Xiang embroidery. Two of their most comprehensive books include Hunan Embroidery, and The Soul of Hunan Embroidery -Traditional Embroidery of Taoyuan. In recent years, Mr. and Mrs. Zou have been focusing on studying and collecting Chinese embroidery clothing.