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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A flock of birds come alive in the skilled hands of Fu Xianghong, 59, a master of Su embroidery known for her flower-and-bird works. [Photo by Gao Erqiang/China Daily]

Like other embroiderers, Fu learned the technique from her family. The needle was her favorite childhood toy.

"Almost all the women then could do needlework. It was common for families to raise silkworms and work in family-run embroidery workshops. Many women earned more money than their husbands," says Fu.

She proudly shows a large-size embroidery of flowers made by her mother, and another exquisite piece, featuring plum trees and flowers, made by her aunt, both of whom made their respective works while in their 70s.

"My mother and my aunt are just two of thousands of ordinary embroiderers in Suzhou. They kept practicing Su embroidery until the end of their lives. The craft is ingrained in our blood," says Fu.

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