Following the patterns of history

A thread that binds generations of Suzhou craftswomen continues to weave ever beautiful designs, Deng Zhangyu reports.

By Deng Zhangyu | China Daily | Updated: 2024-03-26 06:43
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Zou Yingzi, 53, has been dedicated to the inheritance of Su embroidery for decades. [Photo provided to China Daily]

Su embroidery has a history of more than 2,000 years. A piece of fabric with exquisite silk embroidery unearthed from a tomb in the area showed that the craft dates back to the Spring and Autumn Period (770-476 BC). Since ancient times, needlework had been a must-learn skill for women, who had to make clothes for their families. It was a tradition that mothers should make wedding clothes with exquisite embroidery for their daughters.

Zou recalls that, when she was little, her grandmother was busy every day, making wedding clothes and quilts for granddaughters. At the age of 6, she started to help her mother to make Su embroidery items, all of which were sold to support the family.

"I had a dream to become a painter. Now, the needle helps me to realize that dream," says Zou.

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