Beautiful Chinese Brocades

  • June 18, 2013
  • By Huang Zhiling
  • Editor: Amanda Wu
  • Change Text Size: A  A  A

A child admires a Shu embroidery work at the Anjing International Embroidery Festival in Sichuan province on Sunday. [China Daily/Wang Jun]

A child admires a Shu embroidery work at the Anjing International Embroidery Festival in Sichuan province on Sunday. [China Daily/Wang Jun]

Liu Sirui, a 3-year-old girl from Chengdu, southwest China's Sichuan Province, was so fascinated by an embroidered giant panda on June 16, 2013 that she did not want to leave the third Anjing International Embroidery Festival.

The event, held in Anjing town, Pixian County, is part of the fourth International Festival of Intangible Cultural Heritage, a biennial activity in Chengdu that opened on June 15 and will continue through June 23.

"My granddaughter loves animals and the giant panda in particular. But the trip to the town is more meaningful to me, for I happened to witness the granting of the geographical indication trademark to the Shu Embroidery there," said Wan Zhi, 58, who learned to embroider in the town 40 years ago.

Approved by the State Administration of Quality Supervision, Inspection and Quarantine, a geographical indication trademark is a distinctive sign identifying a product as originating in a particular region where its quality, reputation or other characteristics are linked to its geographical origin.

"The trademark has been granted in recognition of embroidery in Sichuan," said Zhao Xiaomei, an expert from the Chengdu Shu Brocade and Embroidery Museum.

The history of sericulture in China dates back more than 4,000 years, when the Sichuan province was called Shu.

Shu Embroidery is one of the four schools of embroidery in China, together with Su Embroidery in Jiangsu Province, Xiang Embroidery in Hunan Province and Yue Embroidery in Guangdong Province.

According to a study of ceremonial robes depicted on a bronze statue unearthed from the Sanxingdui Ruins in Guanghan city, about 40 km from Chengdu, experts concluded that Shu Embroidery was mature in the Shang Dynasty (about 16th century-11th century BC).

Anjing has been renowned as the hometown of the Shu Embroidery since ancient times.

"Many women villagers know how to weave. The traditional patterns are the giant panda, carp and hibiscus, which is the city flower of Chengdu," said Jiang Hai, an official in the town.

"As their embroidered patterns could be used only for decoration, business was sluggish about 10 years ago. But coupled with nationwide awareness of preserving intangible cultural heritage, the government has taken action to help," he said.

According to Wang Wenzhang, director of China Intangible Cultural Heritage Protection Center, the movement was largely triggered by the acknowledgement of the Kunqu Opera by the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization as a "Masterpiece of the Oral and Intangible Heritage of Humanity" in 2001.

"During the last decade, especially since the implementation of the UNESCO's Convention for the Safeguarding of the Intangible Cultural Heritage 10 years ago, China has witnessed great progress in intangible cultural heritage preservation," Wang said.

To enliven the Shu Embroidery, which was included on the list of China's intangible cultural heritage in 2006, Sichuan has set up a base to train people how to embroider in Anjing.

"The base teaches people to embroider not only traditional patterns but also marketable products such as high heels and cheongsams, which are popular with wealthy people who like fashion. A cheongsam can be sold for several thousand yuan or tens of thousands of yuan," Jiang said.

The efforts have paid off.

"In Anjing alone, the sales of embroidery amounted to 55 million yuan ($9 million) in 2011 and surpassed 100 million yuan last year," Jiang said.


Please understand that,a non-profit, information-communication website, cannot reach every writer before using articles and images. For copyright issues, please contact us by emailing: The articles published and opinions expressed on this website represent the opinions of writers and are not necessarily shared by

comment on this story

Messages that harass, abuse or threaten others; have obscene or otherwise objectionable content; have commercial or advertising content or links may be removed.

    most popular
    • Most Viewed
    • Editor's Pick
    • Hello Is there a statistic or a study that I could research on the matter of women's land use rights? Do women in rural areas manage/contract their own land or is the land contracted in the male head of household's name?Pia from Finland
    • To the Director Women of china, Greetings from Action for Integrated Approach To Development Initiative (AFIADI) Kampala Uganda and Bishop Samuel Ssekadde our Chairman,My names are Joseph Musajjawaza the founder. AFIADI is a non governmental,not ...Joseph Musajjawaza from Uganda East Africa
    • Dear Women in China Staff to Shanghai, It is our pleasure to invite you to attend the Shanghai Business Forum. Shanghai Business Forum is a series of events for those who do business in and outside of China, create opportunities, and drive chang ...Shanghai Business Forum from Shanghai
    • Sirs, I have published a feminist paper about the women's situation in France. My paper shows the importance of women in high level at technolo from France
    • Dear Sirs, I am interested to visit China and learn the Chinese language. Please send me a few - free of charge internet addresses - to learn the Chinese language for BEGINNERS ONLINE. Thank you for your help Best regar ...Giuseppe from Italy
    • I’d like to have an interview with the president or vice president about her professional works, and thoughts about leadership. The interview could be conducted via email, skype, phone or in person. My name is Hyeonsuk Lim, and current GMAP stude ...Hyeonsuk Lim from Republic of Korea
    • Hi, I am looking into doing charity work and as music is my profession i have taken an interest in Sound of Yida - Love Music Classroom Project. Has anyone got a contact for this project as I am interested to get involved in the project? Tha ...mica atkinson from China, Guangzhou
    • I am interested to know how Chines women feel about their opportunities for business ownership in mainland China. Prefer an English response, but Chinese is welcome, THXBrad Glass from Ohio
    • Chairman Ma Zedong once said that in China women uphold half of the sky. I am preparing an invited editorial on healthcare in women in China and would like very much to quote his saying in Chinese in his own calligraphy. I wonder if you would be ab ...Professor Tsung O. Cheng, M.D. from Washington, D.C., U.S.A.
    • Dear Mrs Mr I have found a picture on your site of Karen Mok Karen Mok (Mo Wenwei)[Photo source: I am wondering if I can use this photo for job that I am doing for a Branding book. The book and power point presentation is only ...Charlotte Therme-Lindell from Netherlands
      • Seek the Most Beautiful Families
      • 银川妇女
      • Our Chinese Dream
      • 台港澳婦女頻道