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Crafting a career and boosting her village

By WANG RU and LI YINGQING | China Daily | Updated: 2024-03-30 08:36

Yi embroidery craftswoman Jin Ruirui, 35, a deputy to the second session of the 14th National People's Congress in Beijing earlier this month. [Photo provided to China Daily]

Embroidery specialist combines passion and skill to stitch together a prosperous future, Wang Ru and Li Yingqing report.

For Jin Ruirui, a craftswoman engaged with making Yi embroidery, a traditional craft of the Yi ethnic group, this old handicraft still has a big role to play in modern times. She was also a deputy to the second session of the 14th National People's Congress held in Beijing earlier this month.

Jin was one of the first university students from her hometown in A'nali village, Chuxiong Yi autonomous prefecture, Yunnan province. After working in Qujing in Yunnan for several years, she returned to Mouding county in 2014 and established a Yi embroidery company.

Over the years, her company has developed rapidly, reaching an output value of 32 million yuan ($4.43 million) last year and contributes to rural vitalization as it provides income for more than 1,000 people, each earning 20,000 to 40,000 yuan a year.

She has also promoted the craft abroad, attending Milan Fashion Week last year to show costumes with Yi embroidery elements.

"For me, Yi embroidery was the beautiful flowers my mother stitched on our clothes in childhood, and when I grew up, it became the craft that my family lives on," says Jin.

Jin was born in the mountainous A'nali village in 1989, and Yi embroidery has been part of her life since childhood. "I grew up in an environment full of Yi embroidery. Every item of clothing we wore used it, and you can show anything you want on clothes through the stitches," says Jin.

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