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Chinese Embroidery & Textiles

China is well known for its delicate silk threads and has decoratively embroidered textiles for thousands of years. Discovered by the outside world during the Han dynasty, Chinese embroidery and textiles became famous and were traded among the Greeks, Somalis, Romans, Persians, Indians, and Armenians for their beauty and lightweight quality. They were also sought after because they had a tendency to keep a person warm in the winter but cool in the summer.

The production of Chinese silk textiles was once one of the best kept trade secrets. Rearing silkworms to make silk requires care from the egg stage of a silkworm’s life until its cocoon stage. Once the worm reaches cocoon stage, the cocoon must be steamed or baked so that the pupa inside will die, and then dipped into hot water to unwind the cocoon filaments that create the silk threads.

Each region of China had their own distinctive style of embroidery. The oldest known style originates from the Sichuan province. This style is painstakingly precise, characterized by even stitches and subtle colors. The Guangdong province favored more geometric patterns and primary colors. Suzhou also used bright elegant colors, and chose to depict more natural imagery. The Hunan aesthetic, however, was different in that it was black and white.


Quick Facts

  • Historically, if anyone were to attempt to reveal the secrets of silk-making outside of China, or bring silkworms and cocoons out of China, this was considered a crime punishable by death
  • The silkworm diet consisted solely of mulberry leaves, which they ate until becoming very fat. In addition to this mulberry leaf diet, silkworms were also carefully protected from loud noises, drafts, and strong smells
  • The secret of sericulture, the art of silk-making, was let out of China when many Chinese emigrated to Korea in 200 B.C. Since then, trade and travelers spread this art worldwide

Recommended Items at Auction

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Embroidered silk representing monkeys on a branch, China, 20th century
Sep 27, 5:00 PM CEST
Embroidered silk representing monkeys on a branch, China, 20th century
by Ansorena
Est: €270- €360
€1,7006 Bids
A Chinese framed silk embroidery, 34 1/2 x 15 3/4 in. (87.5 x 40 cm)
Sep 28, 9:00 AM PDT
A Chinese framed silk embroidery, 34 1/2 x 15 3/4 in. (87.5 x 40 cm)
by Maynards Fine Art & Antiques
Est: $200- $300
$2202 Bids
A farmed red ground embroidery depictng an Imperial dragon. 10 x 10 in. (25.5 x 25.5 cm)
Sep 28, 9:00 AM PDT
A farmed red ground embroidery depictng an Imperial dragon. 10 x 10 in. (25.5 x 25.5 cm)
by Maynards Fine Art & Antiques
Est: $80- $120
$602 Bids
Antique Chinese Tapestry Tangka 34 x 22"
Oct 02, 1:00 PM EDT
Antique Chinese Tapestry Tangka 34 x 22"
by Four Seasons Auction Gallery
Est: $200- $400
$301 Bid
AN IMPERIAL EMBROIDERED SILK HANGING, LATE QING PERIOD
Sep 30, 10:00 AM CEST
AN IMPERIAL EMBROIDERED SILK HANGING, LATE QING PERIOD
by Galerie Zacke
Est: €1,000- €2,000
€1,0001 Bid
AN IMPERIAL YELLOW KESI PANEL DEPICTING AN AZURE DRAGON, QINGLONG, QING DYNASTY
Sep 30, 10:00 AM CEST
AN IMPERIAL YELLOW KESI PANEL DEPICTING AN AZURE DRAGON, QINGLONG, QING DYNASTY
by Galerie Zacke
Est: €1,500- €3,000
€1,5001 Bid
Antique Chinese Gold Work Cranes Wall Art
Oct 19, 10:00 AM EDT
Antique Chinese Gold Work Cranes Wall Art
by The Benefit Shop Foundation Inc.
Est: $50- $200
$11 Bid
CHINE - Epoque GUANGXU (1875-1907)
Oct 02, 11:00 AM CEST
CHINE - Epoque GUANGXU (1875-1907)
by OXIO
Est: €5,000- €8,000
€5,0001 Bid
ANTIQUE CHINESE MILITARY RANK BADGE
Oct 02, 11:00 AM EDT
ANTIQUE CHINESE MILITARY RANK BADGE
by Americana Auctions
Est: $800- $1,200
$4001 Bid
CHINE - XIXe et XXe siècle
Oct 02, 11:00 AM CEST
CHINE - XIXe et XXe siècle
by OXIO
Est: €200- €300
€2001 Bid
Embroidered silk band, China, 19th century
Sep 27, 5:00 PM CEST
Embroidered silk band, China, 19th century
by Ansorena
Est: €225- €300
€1501 Bid
3 Chinese Textiles Embroidery and K'ossu Kesi
Sep 28, 10:00 AM CDT
3 Chinese Textiles Embroidery and K'ossu Kesi
by Revere Auctions
Est: $300- $600
$1501 Bid
AN EMBROIDERED SILK POUCH, LATE QING DYNASTY
Sep 30, 10:00 AM CEST
AN EMBROIDERED SILK POUCH, LATE QING DYNASTY
by Galerie Zacke
Est: €500- €1,000
€5001 Bid
SILK COURTESAN SKIRT
Sep 29, 7:00 PM CEST
SILK COURTESAN SKIRT
by Derksen Veilingbedrijf
Est: €40- €80
€401 Bid
Embroidered silk band, China, 19th century
Sep 27, 5:00 PM CEST
Embroidered silk band, China, 19th century
by Ansorena
Est: €225- €300
€1501 Bid
Seidentuch mit Vogelstickerei / Silk cloth with bird embroidery
Oct 05, 2:00 PM CEST
Seidentuch mit Vogelstickerei / Silk cloth with bird embroidery
by Kunstauktionshaus Günther
Est: €0- €0
€101 Bid
2 WALL DECORATIONS
Sep 29, 7:00 PM CEST
2 WALL DECORATIONS
by Derksen Veilingbedrijf
Est: €40- €80
€400 Bids
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CHINESE SILK EMBROIDERED SKIRT.
Sep 29, 2:00 PM EDT
CHINESE SILK EMBROIDERED SKIRT.
by Amelia Jeffers
Est: $200- $400
$1000 Bids
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CHINESE SILK EMBROIDERY.
Sep 29, 2:00 PM EDT
CHINESE SILK EMBROIDERY.
by Amelia Jeffers
Est: $100- $300
$500 Bids
18/19TH C FRAMED PEACH & ORCHID SILK KESI
Sep 30, 9:00 AM EDT
18/19TH C FRAMED PEACH & ORCHID SILK KESI
by Lauren Gallery
Est: $800- $1,200
$4000 Bids

Sellers Who Sell Chinese Embroidery & Textiles


Designer Homes of Central Florida

Designer Homes of Central Florida

Galerie Zacke

Galerie Zacke

OXIO

OXIO