Suzhou Embroidery Research Institute
272 Jingde Rd, Ping Jiang Qu, Suzhou Shi, Jiangsu Sheng, China, 215003
| +86 512 6511 3219
Silk Embroidery Institute – Artists at WorkSuzhou is famous for its endless waterways, classical gardens (many of them UNESCO designated sites), and of course, Silk! There are two really cool places you can visit here; the Silk Factory (worm to fabric), and the Silk Embroidery Institute & Museum, highlighted here.
Suzhou, or simply Su embroidery, is considered to be one of the four major regional styles of Chinese embroidery. Images of flowers, animals, landscapes, and sometimes even calligraphy are brought to life with incredibly fine, highly detailed stitching, making it sought after, and distinct from other regions.
At the museum, that doubles as a store, you can even see a few samples of the most rare and famous type of Suzhou Embroidery, the double-sided embroidery. These extraordinary pieces of craftsmanship sometimes feature the same image on each sides of the artwork, in different colors (black cat, white cat), or, they can even depict completely different images (cat, dog).
But the best part of visiting the Institute to me was to quietly observe the artists at work. The atmosphere is focused, and each piece in progress is completely different from the others. You'll chance across birds, landscapes, patterns, even the thinnest calligraphy, stitched, meticulously. Needles and threads are so unbelievably fine, that it is easy to understand why the pieces take months, if not years to complete.
>>>A heartfelt xièxiè (谢谢) to the incredible and extremely hardworking teams at Suzhou Municipal Tourism Administration and PHG Consulting for a fascinating 4 days in Suzhou, China.