East China’s Taizhou embroidery weaves intangible cultural heritage into modern life

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TAIZHOU, China, July 18, 2022 /PRNewswire/ — Foreign teachers and students from 8 countries, including the United States and New Zealand, came to the Taizhou Embroidery Life Art Museum recently, embarking on a journey of experiencing Taizhou embroidery culture, according to Taizhou Embroidery Museum. 

A Taizhou embroiderer is embroidering.
A Taizhou embroiderer is embroidering.

Malik, a foreign teacher from Pakistan, was much impressed. “I saw the production process of silk before, and this time I see how silk becomes a work of art in Taizhou. It is so beautiful! These works really impress me. What’s more, they are both artistic and practical. I really like them!” Malik said.

The Taizhou Embroidery Life Arts Museum was launched by Lin Xia, the third-generation inheritor of Taizhou embroidery. The Museum is open to the public for free and serves to showcase the development of Taizhou embroidery and promote Taizhou folk embroidery culture. As a master of Chinese arts and crafts, Lin combines traditional embroidery skills with modern fashion to form a new genre with unique regional embroidery characteristics of Taizhou. She founded her own cultural brand, and built a cultural and creative industrial chain with traditional embroidery skills as the mainstay.

Taizhou, located in the southeast coast of China, Zhejiang Province, has a long history of embroidery culture among its rich and unique cultural deposits. Judging by the unearthed fragments of silk fabric from the ancient times, Taizhou embroidery has a history of more than 1,000 years. During the late Qing Dynasty, the ancient Taizhou embroidery was perfectly combined with foreign carving embroidery, forming the modern Taizhou embroidery with regional characteristics.

As a folk art with both Western aesthetics and Chinese traditional skills, modern Taizhou embroidery has developed into one of the most distinctive regional embroidery types with nearly 300 ways of stitches in China after three generations of inheritance, and has been listed in the intangible cultural heritage list of Zhejiang Province and become the signature of Jiaojiang District intangible cultural heritage.

Under the guidance of the intangible culture heritage departments in Taizhou City and Jiaojiang District, local enterprises have explored and sorted out the historical evolution, regional culture, social value and inheritance pedigree of Taizhou embroidery. The cultural, technical and artistic elements of Taizhou embroidery are extracted and transformed through creative design. The local firms have taken the unique local culture as inheritance assets and the intangible heritage brand of embroidery as carrier to integrate intangible skills into modern life. Taizhou embroidery is now on a road to the perfection of craftsmanship, perception and practicality.

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   Caption: A Taizhou embroiderer is embroidering.