Phase 3: Interpreting Information

Updated 1 year 3 months ago


In this phase of my Inquiry project work, I will be finding and gathering information regarding my chosen topic, embroidery, both out and inside of Xizhou. Sources are numbered in order from first to last at the bottom of the page and all categories of information are bolded. All information is organized in chronological order based on when I got it. Italicized words are my own thoughts and interpretations of my information.

Background Information (from Phase 1):

Embroidery is a handicraft involving decorating fabric with a needle and yarn or thread, there are numerous techniques with which one can sew. Contrasting techniques each yield a different sort of pattern or design. Embroidery is generally classified relative to whether designs are stitched "free embroidery" or "counted-thread embroidery". Free embroidery is where one simply stitches regardless of the fabric beneath it, thus "free". Counted-thread embroidery is different. It is more regulative and individual fabric threads are counted before needles are inserted to create a numeric pattern. Free embroidery is more pictured based, one can usually see birds, flowers, and others embroidered free. Counted-thread embroidery is a generally pattern based form of sewing. Embroidery is an originally Chinese craft that dates back to the Warring States period (5-3 century BC). Since then, embroidery has not advanced a great deal and has stayed relatively the same. Sometime between the late 18th century and early 19th century, machine embroidery arose.  This is a mechanical device that mimics hand embroidery without long, consuming hours and laborious work.[1] In terms of threads, thinner strings allow for more delicate and intricate designs. Often, fine embroidery done with exceedingly thin threads are valued higher. When one has finished sewing, threads are knotted on the backside of the fabric in order to prevent the front view of the piece from looking ugly. Also, one must rethread the needle with each slight change in color, so embroiderers must change more frequently in order to use more colors. [2]

Thought embroidery was originally a Chinese handicraft, there are records of Ancient Egyptians, Babylonians, Phoenicians, and Hebrews using embroidery as well. The craft embroidery derived from the earliest means of sewing hide together with string in order to maintain its shape, this later formed into sewing beads, stones, and other decorative objects onto one's clothing. [4] Not only was embroidery previously a symbol in many places around the world of affluence and wealth, it was also used religiously for tapestries and others. Many great works of Buddhist art are pieces of embroidery.[2,5] The first ever installed manufacturing unit of embroidery was built in 1848 by Jacob Schiess in New York, this was when embroidery slowly began spreading across the globe and leaked into western culture. Then, embroidered designs used to be punched on paper tape then put through a machine to be sewed before computers were affordable. [3,5] Many embroidery machines today are programmed to read designs off a computer and duplicate them onto fabric, making the process of embroidery much simpler and efficient. Though this is used mostly for selling purposes, as the only way to fully enjoy and experience embroidery is hands on. [4] Another fact is that silk is the most commonly used threading material, as it is not as easy to tangle and a personal favorite of the culture from which embroidery began. [2,6]

Fast Facts:

Embroidery hoops are used in order to keep one's fabric taut when sewing. [5]

Thread through the needle and gather both sides of the string in your fingers to created one combined piece of thread and knot them together as if one. [5]

Silk is most commonly used because of its fineness, one silk thread can be taken apart to become 300 strands. [7]

One flaw of machine embroidered pieces is that because the machine is too precise, shifts in color do not look as natural as it might hand sewed. [7]

On the back of mechanically embroidered pieces, everything is clean and almost identical to the front. In hand embroidery, the back is usually slightly messy. [7]

In ancient Chinese times, twelve symbols of authority were previous embroidered onto the emperors clothing as symbolic pictures, they include [8,9]:

1. Suns- Enlightenment, intellectuality, masculinity, royalty.

2. Moons-Immortality and femininity.

3. Stars- Knowledge gained from the studying of nature.

4. Mountains- Longevity and steadiness. 

5. Dragons- Imperialism, strength, goodness, nobility.

6. Pheasants- Finesse, education, beauty, good fortune.

7. Water Weeds- Adaptability and purity.

8. Two Goblets- Ancestor worship, imperial loyalty.

9. Grain- Fertility, prosperity, the emperors ability to feed his people.

10. Fire- Spirit, intellect, zeal, virtue.

11. Axes- Punishment, power, warriors.

12. Fu Symbols- Collaboration and the emperors ability to tell right from wrong, correct from incorrect. 

Mao Embroidery:

One of the most common forms of Miao embroidery is the two-needle embroidery, which is rather self explanatory (two needles at the same time). Another is braided embroidery, this involves braiding together colorful threads of yarn and sewing them through fabric. Also, jianhe tin embroidery is a indigenous Miao group technique that uses tin threads and embroiders it onto navy colored cloth. After, harlequin flowers are also incorporated into the design.Cross stitching is a traditional type of Chinese embroidery (also popular among Miao embroiderers) that involves stitching small "x" shapes on fabric in order to create one picture, as on a computer with pixels.[10]

Hmong Embroidery:

Bright embellishments are habitually used on plain black cloth, this is indigenous to the Hmong. Traditional pieces of embroidery are usually worn in times of great celebration including, marriages, births, Chinese New Years, and others. (5) Often, embroidery patterns have meanings in the Hmong culture, designs like "elephant's foot" and "ram's head" are both beautiful and meaningful. Also, animals and other symbolic objects are also shown on embroidered works. [11] For example, tigers are often depicted in embroidered pieces, as tigers symbolize bad and evil spirit according to folklore. Furthermore, young Hmong girls previously sewed intricate pieces to give to their male suitors and/or potential husbands with symbolic pictures of happiness and joy to come. [11]

Information from 3-5's:

Silk thread comes from the unraveling of silkworm cocoons, it is then dyed. After, a composition is painted or drawn onto fabric and then sewn on top of. Silk cocoons are generally boiled in water for 3-4 days before being unraveled. [12] 

This might help me understand more about how a major product or part of embroidery, silk threads, are produced and used.

Information From Local Contacts:

I learned of a traditional Bai minority sewing technique known as cross stitch or 十字绣 which is done by counting individual strands of woven thread in a piece of fabric and sewing in between the miniscule gaps, making crosses with two stitches. I was told that this technique is no longer used as it is both laborious and time consuming as well as frustratingly difficult, this method would have been common a century ago. I saw numerous embroidered pairs of bridal shoes (very small, as they were made in the 'bound feet' period) and learned that embroidering one pair would take six months, it was also mentioned that making two pairs in a single year would already by considered admirable. I also saw 'baby back covers', thick waistbands with embroidered half moon pieces of fabric attached. I was also shown fan and brush sleeves that were guessed to have been given to a man by a woman during the Republic of China (1911-1949). These sleeves also had colored glaze embellishments (琉璃), some sewed most intricately. I was also shown a particular type of cloth especially recurrent in 1938-1949, a sunflower pattern mass produced by factories then.[13]

Possible final project focus point.

Ms. He has been learning embroidery for a year now and told me of how 'only when a woman sews, will she makes a good marriage', she intends to sew for the rest of her life and is twenty two years of age. She told me of how a single silk strand can be divided into hundreds upon hundreds of individual, extremely thing strings, and each cocoon can be unraveled to become one exceedingly fine strand. Also, cocoons are boiled in order to kill the silkworm inside of it, they are then left to dry and are undone. Furthermore, she clarified that drawings or prints are, indeed, put on fabric before being sewn, but that they did not print themselves. I was also made aware that most young girls in Xizhou have basic sewing skills and begin sewing at the tender tender age of five. [14]

Sewing lifestyle information and technique information.

When sewing curved or curving shapes, small stitches make for a more natural and smooth surface. Also when sewing curving patterns, one should make each group of stitches more slanted than the last slowly and not all at once, leaving slight gaps to sew over. I found out as well that (dissimilar to regular sewing), one does not knot the strings at the end, but one end is tied to the fabric while the other is left hanging. I learned that most embroiderers sew from bottom to top as it is most easy for one's hands and is more fluid and regular. Also, when sewing the gradients, I noticed that Ms. He and Ms. He both insisted that I sew from light to dark colors as it is easier to blend and looks more fluent. When one is sewing a straight shape, stitches must be longer (the slightest bit longer than a centimeter). Also, I realized that one piece of thread must be split into two in order to be sewn, this is done by looping the string, showing the two obvious strands, and that one must only use one of them each time. Furthermore, I noticed that by licking or wetting the silk, threading becomes simpler. Also, when asked how one knows when to change colors in a gradient pattern, Ms. He answered that one is to vaguely divide the space one must sew over by the number of colors one intends to use.

The most important thing I learned today was how a group of stitches is sewn. One's starting point when sewing must vary from high to low so that the ends of the stitches are uneven despite their identical length. No one starting and ending point may be the same, the key to a natural blend in colors is variation and consistency.[14]

Why do they use small stitches when sewing curving patterns? How does this help them or make pictures look more smooth?

I learned that bestsellers in Happy Embroidery included: panda pieces, blue lily pieces, and 'traditional' Bai minority related pieces. I also found out more about prices, I was told that a piece forty five by fifty centimeters can be sold for approximately six thousand RMB, most pieces are priced by time it took to embroider. The most expensive piece in Happy Embroidery is currently priced at 98000 RMB and took two years to complete. The least expensive pieces are priced at 150-200 RMB, these take approximately twenty days or more to complete. Happy Embroidery pieces are not only created by the girls working there at the moment, they assign pieces to willing embroiderers and will place finished needlework in the gallery to be sold. If sold, the sewer will receive 80-90% of the profit. Though the people working in Happy Embroidery do not personally dye or unravel their own silk, they do boil their own silkworm cocoons. This process takes 4-5 hours and will result in worm carcasses trapped within the cocoon ready to be unraveled. I was told that all their embroidery is done with silk because silk is soft and easy to manipulate, furthermore it possesses a singular shine unparalleled in the embroidery thread game. It is also extremely useful when sewing facial expressions or feature, cotton cannot do any of the above.[14,15]

Finance information: could I provide for my hypothetical family as an embroiderer at Happy Embroidery?

Ms. He and Ms. He told me that as young girls, they wished to learn embroidery because of their mothers, who often embroidered, and found that it looked enjoyable and fun. In the beginning, they simple observed their mothers and began emulating their strokes after long periods of scrutiny. Then, they used bamboo to make embroidery hoops themselves, one small for daughter and one large for mother. Both women know and believe that embroidery does, in fact, have the power to change one's personality, claiming that it mellows and soothes fiery temperaments. As focus and concentration are key in embroidery, I believe full heartedly and have seen the change in my own nature firsthand. Also, I was made aware that moods play a large role in the quality of one's needlework, moods must be consistent and unchanging in order to sew a consistent and unchanging piece. Lastly, I noticed that sewers braid their strands of  silk, this makes it easier to pull out and use.[14]

Would I have been taught by my mother if I lived in a village like theirs, assuming that my social status and wealth factors stayed the same?

When asked why he decided to create Happy Embroidery, Mr. Zhang joked playfully at first that it was to make money. However, he later grew serious and spoke of embroidery as a dying Chinese tradition that must be preserved, claiming that it was because of young girls like myself and the women working there that this practice survives. [15]

Would I be able to open an embroidery shop?

After visiting numerous embroidery and tie dye shops in Si Fang Jie today, I gathered this information:

Mr. Ming explained that most of his embroidered products were market bought, and that the silks and yarns were dyed in Dali. He claimed that he often visited wholesale markets (批发市场) and that there, a multitude of machine embroidered products are sold for good prices. Mr. Ming also owns older embroidered pieces, this includes: children's wear, decorative accessories, and clothing. I noticed that he owned more machine embroidered pieces than hand sewn and he explained that hand embroidered pieces are terribly hard to come by these days. I also saw many yarn cross stitch pieces, the modern and easier alternative to traditional cross stitch which is both tedious and difficult. I was told that hand sewn wallets were extremely popular, and that single-side, flower-embroidered wallets are most favored. Mr. Ming's shop has been open since 1999. [16]

Would it be beneficial to my research if I visited a wholesale market? Would this be in Dali? Possible focus change: opening a touristic embroidery shop.

Ms. Li was one of many people to tell me that hand embroidery is no longer popular, nor is it sold very widely. She explicitly stated that young people like herself and others do not practice needlework and that is it a pass time only for the elderly (60+ years of age). This relates to Mr. Zhang's pronouncing that embroidery is a dying handicraft. I was told that most of her embroidered pieces are brought in from the south of Yunnan and that what she sells isn't, in fact, local. She charges 200-300 RMB for hand embroidered shoes, and her bestselling products are wallets, coin purses, and bags. [17]


Finance and sales information.


Mr. Yang, though not particularly full of information, is an eager and kind man. When he first mentioned that they embroider all their own pieces, I misunderstood and interpreted this as 'we hand embroider all our pieces'. Later, I learned that they do embroider all their own pieces, however they do it with machines, thus the obviously machine made items. I learned that they dye many of their silk and yarn threads with indigo leaves and (once again) that hand embroidered articles are very rare. His bestselling items are wallets, shoes, and pillowcases. [18]


Not the most helpful but an excellent source if a focus change is put in place.


While in Madame Yan's shop, Erica had purchased a pair of hand embroidered shoes with simple curling patterns on one's toes. I was told that a pair similar to those would take two days time to complete and that more complex shoes would take a week. She is quite an elderly lady and has been sewing since she was ten years old, taught wonderfully by her mother. I was also told that 'traditional' Bai headpieces are generally machine embroidered. [19]


What is the average age most mothers decide their daughter is ready to learn sewing? Possible need to gather more information.


Happy Embroidery sewers sew an average of 2-3 pieces per year, each month, they are paid either a thousand and four hundred or a thousand and five hundred RMB. Their gallery sells 7-8 pieces yearly, of these, one or two are large tapestries. From Ms. He, I learned that most sewers employed in Happy Embroidery sew five hours a day, seven days a week. She takes her motorcycle to work every day and spends a estimated hour each day on transportation. She generally arrives at Xi Xiu Fang at 8:30 in the morning and returns home at 5:00, waking up at 7:40 AM. I was told that her shoulders and eyes hurts immensely after long periods of needlework and copes by doing various exercises and stretching. She claims that the thing that defines whether a embroiderer is skilled or not is whether they can sit for the grueling long hours without moving. She rests habitually after every two hours of sewing for approximately an hour and a half. Ms. He applies cream 4-5 times a day, this is because small dead flakes of cuticle skin often pulls up the silk. [14]


Embroiderer lifestyle, would I be able to handle it? What would keep the time from being excruciating?


Mrs. Shi owns the Miao embroidery shop next to the Linden Centre along with her mother Madame Shi. In her possession are numerous, priceless antique embroidery pieces colored by plant dyes, she states that the longer the dyes are preserved the more beautiful and vibrant they become, this defines excellent dye jobs. June 6th on the Chinese calendar is a Miao holiday dedicated specifically to letting your embroidered clothing dry in the sun as they are not washed. A special Miao celebration is devoted to the wearing of embroidery for girls, mothers of females ages fifteen and younger are judged by the quality of their child's' embroidered clothing, and girls of marriageable age (18+) themselves are judged by the embroidered clothing they wear. Mrs. Shi says that the needlework done at Happy Embroidery is more Han than minority and originates from Suzhou. Miao embroidery is more freehand and has less rules, colors and patterns are determined by feeling and gut instinct whereas Han embroidery is set and routine. Each embroidered Miao piece are distinctly different, you can clearly see the sewers signature and/or 'stamp'. Mrs. Shi insists that mood and attitude influence heavily the quality of one's needlework. She says, "If one wakes up, washes then sew, eats lunch and goes for a walk and returns sewing with the exact same consistency and pattern, they are an excellent embroiderer. If it is inconsistent and different, they are a poor embroiderer." 

Mrs. Shi spoke to me of how women were often labeled suitable or unsuitable spouses based on the quality of their needlecraft, this is because in olden days, females did not attend school and spent their time embroidering. If they were skilled, they would have 'the traits of a good wife', this includes: patience, tolerance, docility, and others. Most Miao girls hold their first needles at 7-8 years old, Mrs. Shi's own mother never toiled in the field or did anything but embroidery, for it is something she's done since her childhood.[20]


Possible spontaneous final project change: Miao embroidery.


I learned from Ms. He more about the general lifestyle of an embroiderer, finding out that though their regular, unchanging salary is approximately 1500 RMB per month, their earnings will increase is one of their pieces are sold. I also learned that though most of the sewers at Happy Embroidery have husbands, they (unlike their wives) have no set vocation and do 'whatever work they can' in their village. Happy Embroidery generally allows their staff all major Chinese holidays including: Fu Nv Jie (March 8th), Ming Shu Jie (March 15th on the Chinese calendar) and Chinese New Year, where they get half a month off. Due to Ms. He recent absence from the workshop, I asked whether sewers were allowed to randomly call off days if needed. This is correct, most sudden nonattendances are due to a) being needed at the family fields or b) illnesses.[14]


Possible need to ask more questions: how much does your husband provide each month? If I did not have a husband supporting me, would I be able to survive?


Mrs. Yang buys simple cotton cross stitch patterns and completes them as a hobby. Her most recent one, a puppy motif pillow case, was purchased in Xia Guan. She often buys these and enjoys sewing very much, the piece was almost completely finished and she had only been working for approximately five days. Despite the large amounts of cross stitch shops in the area, she did not acquire her packets from them, this is baffling and worth further research. She claims to use her own sewing around the house. [21]


Madame Ling is a third of the little-shoes-making trio, Madame Chao, Madame Chao, and herself together embroider, bejewel and pattern child shoes, which to sell to buyers in Lijiang and Kunming. They generally make two kinds of shoes, the lion-faced (in pink and red) and the flowery, both of which equally popular. Their shoes, however, are only partially hand made, most embroidery is machine sewn. Madame Ling has only been sewing for two to three years as opposed to most locals who begin at aged 10 or younger. She enjoys sewing tremendously and can sell a pair of her shoes for an average of ten RMB, they are all one size. Together, they habitually make two to three pairs of completed shoes per day. She says they are rather difficult to make and is a constant strain on her eyes, for she works four to five hours a day. In her free time, she takes walks and dances in the parking lot with other 'old folks' as she says. When asked whether the work is painful for her fingers, she says that it no longer hurts as she is used to it. Later, she mentioned that she has one daughter in Xia Guan that 'doesn't do much and raises her kids' and that she is originally from Eryuan village a little 30 kilometers away from here. She married into a Xizhou family and has been living here for forty some years. [22]


In Eryuan, is it not customary that young girls learn sewing? How would different villages have different sewing habits?


Ms. Song sells hand-embroidered shoes in her shop and claims to have imported them from Dali, a single pair is sold for an average of forty five RMB. She too was working on the little shoes Madame Ling was created, except that she had been embroidering features on the ready-made faces. Each face takes approximately two hours to complete, meaning that she can make two pairs of shoes per day. [23]



Not the most helpful but an excellent source if a focus change is put in place.


Xie Cha Zhen is an embroidery technique that involves making stitches that intertwine to look like elongated crosses, sewers often operate based on feeling, improvising based on looks, not rules. This system is mostly used for embroidering animals in order to imitate the patterns of fur. When using this technique, threads most be split into fours instead of halves in order to get the fineness it requires. When turning with this technique, stitches must be shortened to an approximated half of a centimeter. One must sew multiple layers (4-5) with even thinner strands of silk. [14]


Would I be payed more in Happy Embroidery if I fully mastered this technique? Further research required.


Madame Yang embroiders children's shoes that she sells in her boutique for girls a year old and slightly younger and others for kids two years of age and older. These shoes are all handmade by herself are sold for fifteen RMB per pair. She can generally embroidery one pair each day. [24]


Madame Ming claims that all her embroidered merchandise are created locally in Xizhou where she purchases them and then sells them for anywhere for ten to forty RMB. When asked which embroidered products are most popular she answered that everyone has their own tastes and that 'what I like might not be you like and so forth', she then refused to answer whether foreigners bought more than locals with the same answer. However, she did tell me that embroidered products are generally well-received.[25]


Why are her products all locally created while most other shop owners' are not? Where would she have gotten them? Do they sell exclusively to her?


Ms. Duan explained that her products are generally 'do-it-yourself' packets which include cotton threads, needles, guides, and fabric. Though all her products are completed in the same fashion, larger ones (1-2 meters squared) are sold for a hundred RMB or more and that two to three months to complete if one sews everyday, and smaller ones are sold for ten RMB or more and can be completed in two days if one sews for 3-5 hours per day. Ms. Duan herself has sewn many large pieces and enjoys is very much. She opened her rented shop on her own and has been open for four years now. On bad days she can usually sell ten or more packets, on good days she can sell over twenty, business is best during Chinese New Year. However, she explains that she does not make a tremendous amount of profit (a couple kuai per piece), saying 'if I buy a packet for twenty kuai, I could sell it to you for twenty-one'. She tells me of how in 'a village like this' to demand a large profit and to not sell without one is ludicrous and insensible. She makes an average of 700-800 RMB per month.[26]


How would opening a cross stitch shop be different from opening a regular embroidery shop?


Wang Nai Nai has been embroidering since the age of seventeen and is eighty two this year, she hand sews and makes children shoes in the form of pigs. Her style of sewing and habits are vastly different from most locals. Instead of using the common, non-doubled thread technique which involves knotting at the very end without making an actual knot, she doubles her cotton threads (notice: not silk) and knots them while they are still through the needle. Furthermore, when she doe not need the needle she simply pierces it through her pants, which is something I have never seen before and a system I plan to use. Also, when trying to thread doubled strings to quadruple individual threads, she licks the doubles threads, rolls it into one with the single thread already on the needle and uses it to pull it through most skillfully. When sewing the two edges of shoes together she makes constant crosses in a line across the edges in order to combine them. [27]


Why are her skills and techniques so different from others in Xizhou? Does it have anything to do with the fact that she's not from Xizhou?


Mrs. Hao is a cross stitch embroiderer in her own time as a hobby and has been sewing since she was ten, taught by her mother. Today, she buys cross stitch patterns near Si Fang Jie and has been working on her current one for an approximated week, working when she has time to. She generally sews an hour at a time and only a couple of times a month. Her favorite thing to sew are flowery patterns and other plant-like pictures. She has sewn many, many pieces and generally can finish one in a little over two months. Mr. Hao claims that she buys packets frequently. [28]



Mrs. Zhao is an extremely proficient sewer, and has been since the age of twelve, taught by her mother and grandmother, who is an extremely masterful embroiderer. Every single woman in her family can embroidery, and if not they can sew skillfully. This, I learned, is because one must always know how to repair their own clothes when living in a small village like the one Mrs. Zhao  comes from, from there, they learn to make patterns and pictures. She does not sew as often now, because of her work. However, in her youth, she would sew everyday for at least two hours. She, too, enjoys sewing various forms of flora. She does not like sewing animals as much because it is 'difficult to make them look alive'. She used to use embroidery hoops (as I do now) and her grandmother would draw her patterns while she sewed. I was told that in her time, this raft was called 'sa hua' not today's 'xiu hua'. [29]


Would this last piece of information be useful? Is 'sa hua' Mandarin Chinese?


Ms. Yang often buys cross stitch patterns at the same shop Mrs. Hao does, completing them in her spare time while looking over the shop. She has been sewing for three years, ever since she was thirty one years old and began primarily out of boredom. She, too, enjoys flowery pictures. She has been working on her current for almost two months and has competed six pieces that she hangs and/or uses around the house, all large. She enjoy cross stitching very much sews irregularly whenever she can. [30]


Why do so many people buy cross stitch packets? Is this especially respectable or is it just a common hobby?


Yang Nai Nai has been sewing since the age of twelve (like her granddaughter Mrs. Zhao, who she taught) and was, too, taught by her mother. When asked whether she enjoyed learning she responded that it was not about whether she liked it or not, it was about how respectable it was and the gaining of a new skill. Despite her going to school, she managed to sew rather frequently. Now, she sews almost everyday for approximately two hours (from 2:00-4:00). When asked what she sews the most, I was told that it varies. Due art classes at school, she is a fantastic artist and draws all her own patterns. She, too, spoke of how all female members of her family can embroider. 

1. Online: Unknown source. Page last updated February 25, 2014. Wikipedia: Embroidery.

References used in the link above:

  • Berman, Pat (2000). "Berlin Work". American Needlepoint Guild. Retrieved 2009-01-24.
  • Caulfield, S.F.A., and B.C. Saward (1885). The Dictionary of Needlework.
  • Embroiderers' Guild Practical Study Group (1984). Needlework School. QED Publishers. ISBN 0-89009-785-2.
  • Gillow, John, and Bryan Sentance (1999). World Textiles. Bulfinch Press/Little, Brown. ISBN 0-8212-2621-5.
  • Lemon, Jane (2004). Metal Thread Embroidery. Sterling. ISBN 0-7134-8926-X.
  • Levey, S. M. and D. King (1993). The Victoria and Albert Museum's Textile Collection Vol. 3: Embroidery in Britain from 1200 to 1750. Victoria and Albert Museum. ISBN 1-85177-126-3.
  • Quinault, Marie-Jo (2003). Filet Lace, Introduction to the Linen Stitch. Trafford Publishing. ISBN 1-4120-1549-9.
  • Netherton, Robin, and Gale R. Owen-Crocker, editors, (2005). Medieval Clothing and Textiles, Volume 1. Boydell Press. ISBN 1-84383-123-6.
  • Readers Digest (1979). Complete Guide to Needlework. Readers Digest. ISBN 0-89577-059-8.
  • van Niekerk, Di (2006). A Perfect World in Ribbon Embroidery and Stumpwork. ISBN 1-84448-231-6.
  • Wilson, David M. (1985). The Bayeux Tapestry. Thames and Hudson. ISBN 0-500-25122-3.
  • Crummy, Andrew (2010). The Prestonpans Tapestry 1745. Burke's Peerage & Gentry, for Battle of Prestonpans (1745) Heritage Trust.

2. Miranda Mo, Microcampus Alumi. Phase 1, Step 4. 

3. Online: Unknown source. Page last updated February 25, 2014. Wikipedia: Machine Embroidery

References used in the link above:

  •  “Chenille Embroidery”. C.H. Holderby. Retrieved 26 July 2012.
  •  “Computerized Embroidery”. EduTech Wiki. Retrieved 26 July 2012.

4. Madhavi Ghare. Published March 5, 2007. History of Embroidery

5. My own knowledge

6. Audrey C. Microcampus Alumi. Phase 1, Step 4. 

7. Online: Heather Daveno, "Chinese Embroidery and Symbolism". Copyright 1986-2012. 

8. Online: Embroidery Symbols

9. Online: Unknown Source. Page last updated February 10, 2013. Cultural Art China.

References used in the link above:

Beijing Municipal Administrative of Cultural Heritage, The Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York,

10. Online: Judy Anne Breneman. Copyright 2005. Hmong Quilting History.

References used in the link above:

"Creating Pandau Appliqué: A New Approach to an Ancient Art Form" by Carly J. Hassel

"Stories in Thread: Hmong Pictorial Embroidery" by Marsha McDowell

11. Online: "Symbols", "Embroidery Animals", and "Home" Unknown Source. Copyright 2012. Hmong Embroidery.

12. Ye Ling, Linden Centre, March 10th, 2014.

13. Mr. Li, Private Antique Shop, March 13th, 2014.

14. Ms. He and Ms. He (no relation), Happy Embroidery

15. Mr. Zhang, Happy Embroidery Co-Owner.

16. Mr. Ming, Si Fang Jie embroidery and tie dye shop keeper

17. Ms. Li, Si Fang Jie embroidery and tie dye shop keeper

18. Mr. Yang, Si Fang Jie embroidery and tie dye shop keeper

19. Madame Yan, elderly Si Fang Jie embroidery and tie dye shop keeper

20. Mrs. Shi, minority Miao embroiderer from next to the Linden Centre

21. Mrs. Yang, elderly local

22. Madame Ling, embroiderer and maker of children shoes

23. Ms. Song, Si Fang Jie embroidery shop keeper

24. Madame Yang, Si Fang Jie clothing shop owner and part time embroiderer

25. Madame Ming, Si Fang Jie embroidery and tie dye shop keeper

26. Ms. Duan, Si Fang Jie cross stitch embroidery shop owner

27. Wang Nai Nai, childrens' shoes embroiderer and maker

28. Mrs. Hao, street shop owner

29. Mrs. Zhao, Old Town Snacks co-owner

30. Ms. Yang, Si Fang Jie jewelry shop keeper

31. Yang Nai Nai, embroiderer and grandmother of Mrs. Zhao

I am now finished with my Phase 3 work, to follow the rest of work, please check out my Phase 4.


Hello Ryane,

Hello Ryane,
I'm glad to see your progress on the Micro trip! That besides, congratulations on your personal embroidery. I've seen it and it's fantastic. I hope you're learning a lot over there, and I'm hoping you're going to send me a few of your videos and audio recordings that I could maybe see to glean what I can of the local environment. It's terribly sad that the art of hand-crafted embroidery is dying out, isn't it? All the young people are running off to the cities, no time to learn things like sewing. We'll see if you can carry on the dying art, eh? Oh, do you know if they produce the qipao styled clothes in the Xizhou area? I read somewhere about handmade qipao dying out as well, maybe you could try something along those lines as well.
See you soon,

My name is Ryane and I am a fourteen year old student in SAS Puxi. My interest in Microcampus stemmed from a desire to participate in something outside of my sheltered metropolitan lifestyle where everything is done for me and I am painfully inexperienced. I have lived in Shanghai for eight years now but was born in Taipei, Taiwan to an English speaking family of six cousins and numerous relatives. I have left Xizhou and missing it most painfully, however, I am happy and excited for all future Microcampers and the amazing experience they will experience. Be good to T and Ms. Mai!