New book about China’s renowned silk embroidery gets new anotated version
Book about China’s renowned silk embroidery gets new anotated version
Published: Mar 20, 2023 11:52 PM
The book


A nearly 100-year-old book about China's silk embroidery is being published as a new version with annotations from renowned Chinese scholar Shen Congwen thanks to collaboration between Beijing Yanshan Press and the Beijing United Publishing Company.

Written by artist and scholar Zhu Qiqian, the original Silk Embroidery Notes gave relatively comprehensive descriptions and notes on silk embroidery, including the evolution of names and information on surviving relics from past dynasties, which set a precedent for systematic research into the history of silk embroidery in China.

According to Xia Yan from Beijing Yanshan Press, the new book released on Monday at Beijing's Capital Library not only includes the original version and Shen's annotations, but also comments on the documents in the book, corrections on the author's conclusions based on historical materials, and new updates based on unearthed cultural relics, reflecting the development of recent academic findings. 

Shen, a modern Chinese writer and literature expert, changed the focus of his work from literature to research on antiquities. 

Due to a personal interest in the subject, he has concentrated much of his efforts in later years on researching ancient fabrics and clothing, completing a series of works such as The Study of Ancient Chinese Costumes

"One hundred years later, the book may not have much meaning in practice, but it played a great and significant role in academic research in China's silk embroidery history," Shang Gang, a professor from the Academy of Arts & Design, Tsinghua University, told the Global Times on Monday at the book's launch seminar. 

The Capital Library is also hosting a special exhibition that showcases the achievements of China's silk embroidery and introduces basic knowledge about fabrics, dyeing techniques and looms in ancient China. The exhibition is set to run until June 30 and free to the public.

Silk embroidery at the exhibition Photo: Xu Liuliu/GT

Silk embroidery at the exhibition Photo: Xu Liuliu/GT