Su embroidery is the general name of embroidery products in Suzhou. Its origin is in Wuxian, Suzhou. Now it has spread all over Wuxi, Changzhou and other places. Embroidery and silkworm rearing, silk reeling inseparable, so embroidery, also known as silk embroidery. The Qing Dynasty established "Su embroidery, Hunan embroidery, Guangdong embroidery and Shu embroidery" as four famous embroideries in China. The Qing Dynasty was the heyday of Su embroidery. It was a flourishing genre, and famous players competed in the show. Su embroidery has a unique style with beautiful patterns, ingenious conception, meticulous embroidery, lively stitching, elegant colour, and strong local characteristics. Su embroidery is best known for embroidery in Zhenhu Town, a high-tech district of Suzhou Embroidery Research Institute. Zhen is the main birthplace of Su embroidery. Eighty per cent of Suembroidery's products come from Zhenhu.
Suzhou embroidery has a history of more than 2000 years. Legend has it that Zhongyong's granddaughter "Nuhong" first made embroidered clothes. Taibo and Zhongyong, the sons of the father of the ancient king of Zhou Taiwang, came to the area of Suzhou in southern Jiangsu Province to establish the Wu State. The local people have the custom of breaking off their tattoos. Zhong Yong became the king of Wu. He wanted to break this bad habit, so he consulted with the elders. Unexpectedly, their comments were heard by the granddaughter Hongnu who was sewing. She listened while sewing, distracted, accidentally, her hand was pricked by a needle, a small drop of bright red blood immediately soaked into the clothing, gradually dizzying into small flowers, so the scarlet woman had an inspiration: to embroider Jiaolong's design on the clothes to replace the tattoo. In order to commemorate the inventors of embroidery, the folk still call women engaged in textile, sewing, embroidery and other activities as "Nuhong".
As early as the Three Kingdoms Period (220-280 A.D.), there were records about the production of Su embroidery. Su embroidery, with a long history of thousands of years, had laid a foundation in Sui and Tang Dynasties. By Song and Yuan Dynasties, its basic branches and characteristics had gradually formed, and Suembroidery art began to mature since Ming and Qing Dynasties.
Su embroidery has a long history. Su embroidery's burdens were unearthed from Ruiguang Pagoda and Huqiu Pagoda in Suzhou during the Five Dynasties and Northern Song Dynasty. It can be used to lay needles and apply needles by grabbing. This is the earliest object of Suembroidery discovered at present. According to the relevant historical records, since the Song Dynasty, Suzhou embroidery technology is very prosperous, the craft is also maturing. In rural areas, "silkworm rearing at home, household embroidery", embroidery lanes, rolling embroidery fang, embroidery fang, embroidery lane and other lanes also appeared in the city, which shows the prosperity of Suzhou embroidery. At that time, not only embroidery was used for living, but also rich ladies often used it to amuse time and cultivate temperament. The so-called "folk embroidery", "boudoir embroidery" and "court embroidery" came from it.
In the Qing Dynasty, Su embroidery was an unprecedented event. Suzhou was known as "embroidery city" and was famous all over the world. At that time, there were many stitches and their wide application did not exceed the previous dynasty. Landscapes, pavilions, flowers, birds and figures were omnipotent and omnipotent. With the great need of the court, luxurious embroidery emerged in endlessly. Su embroidery later absorbed the characteristics of Gu Embroidery and Western paintings in Shanghai and created a style with strong light and shade and full of stereoscopic sense.
Su embroidery has a unique style with beautiful patterns, ingenious conception, meticulous embroidery, lively stitching, elegant colour, and strong local characteristics. Embroidery technology has the characteristics of "flat, uniform, harmonious, smooth and even". "Flat" refers to the flat embroidery surface; "neat" refers to the neat edge of the pattern; "fine" refers to the delicate needle and fine embroidery thread; "dense" refers to the compact line arrangement without needle traces; "harmonious" refers to the appropriate colour; "light" refers to brilliant, bright colour; "smooth" refers to the smooth rotation of silk;，and "uniform" refers to the fine line, sparse and consistent. In terms of categories, Su embroidery's works can be divided into three categories: zero-cut, costume and hanging screen. They are both decorative and practical. Among them, "double-sided embroidery" works are the most exquisite.
The main artistic features of Su embroidery's works are that mountains and rivers can be divided into distant and near interests; the pavilions have a deep body; the characters can look at vivid feelings, and the flowers and birds can offer gracious intimacy. Su embroidery's imitation embroidery and portrait embroidery are well-known for their realistic artistic effects.