Embroidery generally refers to the diverse patterns embroidered on fabrics with thread and needle, a kind of arts revealing the craftsmanship of men. One of the traditional Chinese handicrafts, its history stretches back over two thousand years. For making fine embroideries, smoothness, alignment, evenness, symmetry and cleanliness are highlighted. Respectively, smoothness indicates uprightness for straight lines and smoothness for curves while alignment emphasizes on trimmed stitches；evenness refers to right sewing gestures and flat stitch surfaces with no deformation, symmetry the consistency of stitch length, not being threadbare and overlapping and cleanness the bright and clean stitch surfaces, without any stains such as ink marks. In China, there are four categories of embroidery：Suzhou embroidery, Sichuan embroidery, Hunan embroidery and Guangdong embroidery.
Suzhou embroidery originates in Suzhou, Jiangsu Province, with a history of over two thousand years. With pretty patterns, ingenious designs, meticulous but vivacious stitches and elegant colors, Suzhou embroidery carries rich local characteristics. As it has been known to the world for elaboration and elegance since antiquity, its succinct layout, clear-cut themes and exquisite craftsmanship enliven the embroidered pictures and it is made out of two purposes, one for utility, the other for appreciation.
Hunan embroidery finds its trace in Hunan Province. Its sophisticated techniques, unique characteristics and wide varieties impressed the world long ago. Taking pure silk, hard satin, soft satin, transparent gauze and nylon as raw materials, Hunan embroidery is made out of threads and wool of a rainbow of color. Lifelike images of lions and tigers often find their expressions in Hunan embroideries with rigorous layout and vivid color, unfolding mightiness and sturdiness.
Guangdong embroidery, literally, was born in Guangdong Province, which is divided into two branches, namely the Chaozhou embroidery and the Canton embroidery. Through ages of development, Guangdong embroidery has received the influence of various nationalities, and, synthesizing and incorporating everything, gradually formed its own unique artistic style. Phoenixes, dragons, flowers and birds are main images embroidered, making Guangdong embroidery gorgeous and magnificent.
Sichuan embroidery comes from Sichuan Province and enjoys a time-honored history. With soft satin and colored fabrics as material and a kaleidoscopic range of stitch methods, Sichuan embroidery gives full play to the advantages of hand embroidery, taking on an impressive local style. Its products not only feature diverse themes but also boast versatility. Affected by local customs, culture and arts, and geographic environments, Sichuan embroidery gradually forms its unique style.