Friday, July 24, 2009

Chinese Miao Embroidery

During our time in Santa Fe, Mark and I were fortunate to see the Chinese Miao Exhibit at the Folk Art Museum. The Santa Fe International Folk Art Museum is really one of the best I have seen in the world. The museum holds a collection of more than 135,000 artifacts pieces plus the changing traveling exhibits which was this Chinese exhibit.

This exhibit held 500 pieces of carefully and skillfully embroidered Miao clothing and accessories. It was inspirational! The tiny delicate work of so many hands to create such beautiful treasures! This wonderful group of people also create the wonderful children's hats that I so love!

front & back of child's "chicken" hat

China embroidery is one of Chinese excellent folk traditional needle craftworks. Embroidery is closely connected with China’s sericiculture (silkworm raising) and filature. Hence embroidery is also called silk needlework (sixiu). China is the earliest country in the world to discover and make use of silk. Roughly 5000 years ago, people begun to raise silkworm and make silk products. As the using of silk, silk articles appeared and developed, and the embroidery gradually sprung up. In accordance with the record of Book of Documents (shangshu, 尚书), more than 4000 years ago, the clothing embroidery was required widely. In Song Dynasty, the embroidered garments were widely welcomed and embroidery gradually popularized widely in folk society.

The museum has changed their policy of photographing (use to be able to with no flash) to no photography. So in respect to them, I will share with you other similar photos of the Miao's exquisite work.

Women's jackets with
close ups of embroidery work

The Miao Minority group live in seven different provinces of China, each group has their own distinct style of dress. Besides their beautiful embroidery many are known for their fanciful silver work.
They are known to be friendly and welcoming and love to sing and dance.

Books I like:
One Needle One Thread Book
loved this book- a how to!

Miao textiles from China
beautiful images and good text!

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