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Xia embroidery: the fifth renowned embroidery in China

By Zhao Qian ( chinadaily.com.cn )

Updated: 2012-04-16

"The biggest feature that distinguishes Xia embroidery from Suzhou embroidery, Hunan embroidery, Sichuan embroidery and Yue embroidery --four famous embroideries in China-- lies in its raw material. Using ramie as its raw material rather than silk, Xia embroidery is a style of embroidery made on grass cloth," said Zhang Xiaohong, general manager of the Xinyu Yuzhou embroidery workshop.

As a fine artistic combination of simple grass cloth with exquisite embroidery, it brings impact and a distinctive visual effect to the viewer.

The more distinctively national it is, the greater it appeals to the outside world. The Yuzhou embroidery workshop not only carries on traditional folk embroidery art but also creates Xia embroidery on China grass cloth. It now has 29 national patents, four registered trademarks and exclusive intellectual property rights. Zhang said the Yuzhou embroidery workshop will build Xia embroidery into the fifth top embroidery in China and will introduce it to the world.

Xia embroidery, also called summer embroidery or linen embroidery, got its name from the material that the embroidery is made on. Originating from the Northern Song Dynasty (960-1127), Xia embroidery has a long history and has always been being popular among people.

The material that Xia embroidery uses is grass cloth that is hand-weaved with ramie fiber. It is unique for its simplicity, good air permeability, antibacterial ability and durability.

Xia embroidery that mixes grass cloth and embroidery of strong cultural and traditional features creates a new style for embroidery art.

To develop the Xia embroidery craftsmanship, Zhang Xiaohong established the Xinyu grass cloth embroidery art institute in 2009. In 2011, the "Zhang Xiaohong work studio" was set up and it organized a professional team to do research on embroidery craftsmanship. It has now become a cultural industrial cluster for Xia embroidery. Having trained over 200 embroidery workers, it has also created more than 300 jobs.

The acceleration of the Xia embroidery industry with utmost efforts will start a new cultural and original product and a new industry for Xinyu and Jiangxi. It will also greatly improve grass cloth's cultural value and economic value.

Xinyu city also plans to construct a "Xia embroidery industrial base" that integrates production, display, talent training, tour and sightseeing, and entertainment. As a comprehensive cultural industrial park, it will become a spotlight for Xinyu's city construction, tourism and cultural development.

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