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Ou embroidery: inheritance of a Chinese cultural treasure

People's Daily Online| Updated: September 29, 2020 L M S

Ou embroidery, a traditional embroidery handicraft from Wenzhou in east China's Zhejiang province, has a long history.

According to Wang Shi, a fourth generation inheritor of Shi family Ou embroidery skills, Ou embroidery has a history of more than 1,000 years.


Ou embroidery with different patterns on both sides. (People's Daily Online/He Zhuoyan)

Originated in the Tang and Song dynasties and flourished in the Ming and Qing dynasties, Ou embroidery "is distinguished by its simple patterns, bright and balanced colors, multiple varieties of precise stitches, and smooth and lustrous surfaces ," said Wang.

In 2008, Ou embroidery was listed in the second batch of national intangible cultural heritages by China's State Council.


"Lotus and Ink", a double-sided heterochromatic embroidery work designed by Wang Shi ((People's Daily Online/Ma Tianyi)

"Lotus and Ink", a double-sided heterochromatic embroidery work, was designed by Wang Shi, and was completed mostly by his mother, Shi Chengquan. Shi is the third generation inheritor of the Shi family Ou embroidery skills and also a national-level inheritor of the craft.

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