Chinese Double-Sided Embroidery
The double sided embroidery, also known as double sides embroidery or two-faced embroidery, is a technique in which stitching takes place on both sides of a single transparent silk fabric. The design shows on both sides (front and reverse). The embroidery artists skillfully hide all the loose threads and knots. Such a piece is normally mounted on a wooden frame as a screen. One really can't tell which side is the front or the back.
The embroidery artists always works on the same side of the background, even though the picture on the other side may be entirely different. She must keep both images in her mind, which requires intense concentration. When embroidering areas that are the same color on both sides, the artist uses one threaded needle to do both sides at once. When embroidering areas that are differently colored on each side, the artist uses two needles threaded with different colors. She holds down satin stitches on the upper side with couching stitches from the underside. The couching stitches are not visible on the upper side because the thread is so fine. On the underside, the thread makes satin stitches as it travels from couching stitch to couching stitch. The result: parallel satin stitches on top and bottom in two different colors.
Generally double sided embroidery works can be divided into two groups based on the size of the embroidery work.
1, Small size double sided embroideries. Small size double sided embroideries are used for desk decoration. The embroidery size is around 16 x 25 cm, or 6 x 10 inches. The embroideries are often seen in three shapes, circle, rectangle and traditional Chinese fan. The round embroidery and rectangle embroidery are rotatable. By rotating the embroidery, you can see the embroidery work on both sides.
2, Large size double sided embroidery. Large size double sided embroideries are used for both dividing a room and decorating the house. They are put on the floor. Some people call them silk embroidery floor screens. Different large size embroideries can be made according to the space of the owner's room. From their shapes, they can be grouped into two types, one panel embroidery floor screen and multi-panel embroidery floor screen.
In terms of embroidery techniques and skills, the double sided embroidery can be classified as three types, double sided embroidery with exactly the same designs on both sides, double sided embroidery with the same designs but different colors and double sided embroidery with two different designs. It is extremely difficult to make a double sided embroidery with the same designs but different colors. As to the double sided embroidery with two different images on both sides, the technique and skill seem a mystery and only a very few master embroidery artists know how to achieve it.