Quality Introduction of Silk Embroideries
Since the silk embroidery works are completely handmade, quality of silk embroideries made by different embroidery ladies varies tremendously due to their different embroidery skills and embroidery techniques. Pricing of silk embroideries varies greatly with the quality differences. In terms of quality, silk embroideries can be divided into three groups, low quality silk embroidery, fine quality silk embroidery and top quality silk embroidery. We only makes and sells high quality silk embroideries, namely Fine Quality silk embroidery and Top Quality silk embroidery. Though in our quality system, Fine quality silk embroideries are not the highest quality silk embroideries we make, they are really exquisitely made and can meet most customers needs already. In many shops in China, the shop owners would claim silk embroideries at this quality as the highest quality.
Low quality silk embroideries are often found in some tourist spots. Normally they look not bad from a distance. While you take a close look at them, you will see they are not 100% hand embroidered. There is only little hand embroidery work in each silk embroidery picture. The background is often printed instead of being hand embroidered. The embroidery work is done with full silk threads and there is a noticeable space between each two silk threads. The stitches are very long. The whole embroidery work has very few colors and is always done with one layer.
Some people buy low quality silk embroideries because they are cheap, while others buy them because they don't know much about Chinese silk embroideries and they think all the silk embroideries are the same. A low quality silk embroidery can be a good choice as a tourist souvenir. But since the background is printed not embroidered, its colors may fade with time.
We NEVER makes or sells low quality embroideries. We NEVER did, and will NEVER do.
Most of the silk embroideries people see in shops while they are traveling in China are fine quality silk embroideries. These embroideries look much better than average quality embroideries. They are 100% hand embroidered , not printed. The embroidery work is always done with split silk threads. (One silk thread can be divided into 16 thinner silk threads, and even more by some skilled embroidery artists. Most of the embroidery work in a fine quality silk embroidery is done with 1/2 to 1/4 silk thread, using silk threads that are divided 2 to 3 times)
For an average customer who is interested in Chinese silk embroidery, a fine quality silk embroidery is a good choice. By using split silk threads, the embroidery work is very smooth and dense. A fine quality silk embroidery has more colors. The embroidery work is often done with 2-3 layers of embroidery. Since it is completely hand embroidered not printed, its colors won't fade over time. It is a good choice for wall decor and gifts on various occasions.
Most silk embroideries we makes and sells are of Fine Quality which are exquisitely hand embroidered by highly skilled embroidery ladies. For most customers, this kind of silk embroideries are really good enough to meet their needs if the embroideries are for home decoration or gifts. But if you are looking for a masterpiece embroidery that you would like to pass it down generation to generation, please see our Top Quality silk embroidery.
It takes from several months to even several years to complete one top quality silk embroidery. Top quality silk embroideries are very expensive because they require higher embroidery skills and techniques and take much longer time The embroidery work is done with very thin silk threads, 1/16 silk threads or silk threads divided 4 times (and even thinner by some master embroidery artists, 1/32 and 1/64 applied in some special parts of the embroidery work. Many of the silk embroideries in Suzhou Embroidery Research Institute (located in Jingde Road, Suzhou, China) are top quality silk embroideries, embroideries at the same quality level as depicted in the book "Threads of Light".
By making top quality, we will use much thinner silk threads when making the embroidery painting, with some silk threads so thin that are almost invisible to naked eyes used in some important parts of the embroidery work, for instance the face of a portrait, to make the skin as realistic as photograph. Also more colors of silk threads will be applied. The whole embroidery work will be denser, more smooth, more harmoniously mixed and more tiny details will be embroidered. When you touch the embroidery, it feels like a silk satin.
Main Differences Between Our Fine Quality and Top Quality Silk Embroideries
The biggest difference between our Fine Quality silk embroideries and Top Quality silk embroideries we make is the size of the silk threads, while the quality of the silk threads is the same. Their difference is not huge, but if you put two silk embroideries of different quality side by side and compare, the difference is very obvious. Fine Quality silk embroideries use full silk threads mostly, but Top Quality silk embroideries use split silk threads, silk threads much thinner than full threads. So Top Quality silk embroideries have more colors mixed and denser embroidery work, and more minute details can be displayed by embroidering with thinner silk threads. They are more harmoniously mixed and more smooth.