Taizhou Embroidery: An integration of East and West, past and present
Taizhou Embroidery, or Tai Xiu, is an intangible cultural heritage of East China's Zhejiang province. [Photo by Wu Boyao]
Han Jiting was mesmerized by the Taizhou Embroidery, or Tai Xiu in Chinese, at first sight on campus during recruitment. After graduating, the 22-year-old traveled 900 miles from Dandong in northeast China's Liaoning province to Taizhou in the eastern Zhejiang province to learn more about the art form.
"I learned Tai Xiu in Taizhou for about four months and then I was trained for management," said Han, now the manager of the TAISILK boutique located in Hangzhou's E-fashion Town, home to the country's most edgy original boutique brands.
Tai Xiu is a folk embroidery that integrated Chinese and Western cultures in the early 20th century. In 1906, French Catholic missionaries went to Haimen (now Taizhou) where they passed on Western embroidery techniques, such as carving and drawnwork, to nuns and orphans in the local church. Eventually, these techniques were incorporated into traditional Chinese embroidery and a unique variant emerged.