Following the patterns of history

A thread that binds generations of Suzhou craftswomen continues to weave ever beautiful designs, Deng Zhangyu reports.

By Deng Zhangyu | China Daily | Updated: 2024-03-26 06:43
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Editor's note: Traditional arts and crafts are supreme samples of Chinese cultural heritage. China Daily is running this series to show how master artisans are using dedication and innovation to inject new life into these age-old heritages. In this installment, we follow the thread of history from ancient Suzhou to discover how skilled embroiderers are helping their craft evolve to fit modern Chinese lifestyles.

"Only when I take the needle out and touch the silk thread, I feel fully comfortable," says Zou Yingzi, an inheritor of Su embroidery, an ancient craft that originates from the garden city of Suzhou in Jiangsu province.

The day before the interview, the 53-year-old worked more than 10 hours, until late into the night, on a large piece of Su embroidery. A piece measuring around half a meter can take her months to complete.

From Zou's mother to her grandmothers, all the women in her family are good at needlework, particularly Su embroidery, which features intricate stitches and the creative use of silk threads dyed in various colors.

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