Taizhou Embroidery


文化交流 2016年1期

By Wang Haihong

Taizhou Embroidery

By Wang Haihong

Taizhou Embroidery started in Haimen, Taizhou in southeastern Zhejiang Province in the times of the Ming and the Qing dynasties. The Catholic Church in Haimen taught local women to make embroidery and local embroidery started. The women combined the west and east in embroidery and created something new. It is now known as Taizhou Embroidery.

Taizhou Embroidery as a trade mark started in 1998. It has made its name in China both as a trade mark and as an art. Taizhou Embroidery Museum has exhibits that showcase the history and the best of the local art. The best in the collection is a silk Qipao made by Chen Ke, a master of national arts and crafts. It has 10 famous scenic spots embroidered on it. Four embroiders worked 45 days to make it. More specifically, it cost 1770 man/hour and over 6,000 silk threads. In 1986 it won a gold medal at Plovdiv Expo, Bulgaria.

万物灵·大方巾 万物生·大方巾Two shawls show the grace of Taizhou Embroidery.

现代绣女A view of a workshop at Taizhou Embroidery Company

The brand goes back to Ying Dayu, a genius of embroidery. He integrated a group of needle skills and created a new style of embroidery. Chen Ke is his disciple. Chen is now director of Taizhou Embroidery Institute. He has developed a few skills and has a number of patents for these skills. The third-generation master is Lin Xia, president and chief designer of Zhejiang Taizhou Embroidery Co Ltd.

As a craft, the embroidery genre developed slowly and gradually. It is through the three generations that Taizhou Embroidery has developed some very special methods to design and work. Today, the company has developed a standard for management and a machine system to mass produce. This transformation owes its success to Lin Xia.

Lin's unique contribution to embroidery is to make embroidery into soft sculpture, which is an unprecedented idea and development, as testified by the national and international prizes awarded to her for her innovative embroidery masterpieces.

Over the 30 years ago, Taizhou was China's powerhouse of embroidered garments production. More than 50,000 women were engaged in the industry. Lin entered Taizhou Embroidered Garment Factory at the age of 17 and began to work as an embroiderer.

The embroidery factory began to lose business in the 1990s. Aware that the traditional production method wasn't up to fierce competition, she introduced embroidery to fashion in 1998. Her idea was simple:embroidery itself wouldn't make sense, but it would be great if it was embroidered onto fashion. This idea has worked and injected new blood to the embroidery in Taizhou. Over the past 17 years, her business has thrived.

Nowadays, she has opened retail shops at China's giant e-commerce websites such as Jingdong, Tmall and Taobao and market her product through electronic media. The sales volume on internet adds up to 16 million yuan a year, accounting for about 25% of the company's annual revenue.

The internet business mode didn't appeal to her at first. She had retail spaces across the country. But soon she became aware of new business opportunities out there in the cyber space. On the other hand, she also markets her products to tourists and develops tourism facilities.

In 2012, she started a 100-million investment project to build an embroidery park in Taizhou. It is about to conclude and will soon become operational. The park integrates design, production, exhibition and shopping. It will generate an additional amount of business sales 300 million a year and will add 1,000 jobs for local community. The park will also boost the embroidery industry and fashion industry in Taizhou.


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