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Young generations breathe new life into ancient craft

(chinadaily.com.cn) | Updated : 2023-10-31


Silk Show Town in SND. [Photo/WeChat account: snd-szgxqfb]

Adding Fuxing bullet train to embroidery, introducing the craftswork via livestreaming, using it to make clothes and cups of coffee …… The traditional Suzhou embroidery industry is taking on a new look in Zhenhu subdistrict, Suzhou New District.

Zhenhu, the birthplace of Su embroidery, is home to 8,000 embroiderers and over 400 embroidery workshops. Its Su embroidery industry generates nearly 2 billion yuan ($274.23 million) in output per year.

In recent years, young generations of embroiderers in Zhenhu have made some innovations in inheriting and developing Su embroidery.


The latte art by Guo is about the little sparrow from his mother's embroidery work. [Photo/WeChat account: snd-szgxqfb]

Tang Xiaohong is one such young embroiderer who embroiders her works with elements such as lattice windows, moon-shaped fans, and scrolls, creating more functions for the handiwork.

"The key for thousand-year-old Su embroidery is innovation and therefore, it should find a display way to appeal to young people," noted Tang. Her embroidery pieces can be used to decorate desks or walls.

Daring to try something new and crossover cooperation is the common quality of the younger embroiderers in the subdistrict. Returnee Guo Zizhou opened a coffee shop opposite her mother's embroidery studio.

The coffee made by Guo is distinguished from other coffee by the latte art, which vividly imitates the commonly-seen elements in embroidery, so as to inspire increasingly more young people to learn about the ancient art.

Thanks to these younger generations, Zhenhu has gradually become SND's cultural landmark for Su emboridery exhibition, experience, and sale.

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