Yingifts x Be Creative

The <Be Creative> magazine flew all the way from UK to our office located among the mountains in BC, Canada.

And the greatest thing is it comes with our silk embroidery <3 purple peonies> as its cover of the November 2020 issue. Yeah!

The UK based international magazine <Be Creative> has been at the forefront of textiles and needlecraft for over three decades. Get to see our works be published on such an inspiring magazine is definitely a thrill!


As a thanks, here’s a great deal exclusive for our customers/followers if you’re interested in this inspiring magazine:

Subscribe for 3 months and get the current issue which is the one published our article for FREE!

£12.49 for UK reader/ £15.99 for EU/ £17.99 for rest of the world

Link: http://bit.ly/2syLUha

10 months ago, our behind scene colleges were still called female embroidery workers by the Chinese society, and now they are respected as embroidery artists by the world!

We’d like to share the article with all of you. It introduced why and how Yingifts was founded, and also history of this traditional Chinese embroidery style. Below is the digital version of the article.

My name is Ying, I was born and raised in a small town located in the Jiangnan area (The Yangtze River Delta) of China, which is known as ‘a land of fish and rice’ by the Chinese. It’s the motherland of Su embroidery.

I had the chance to travel abroad at a young age; during these travels I found myself fascinated by cultural conflicts and obsessed with exotic craftsmanship. At that time, I loved anything and everything that wasn’t Chinese.

I quit my job and moved to Whistler, Canada, for snowboarding at the age of 30. Forrest Gump’s mum was right – life is like a box of chocolates, you never know what you’re gonna get; I would never have thought that I would meet my best friend and future husband there.

I got married, I took my husband back to China and we travelled around the country. For the first time, I was shocked by how stunning the embroideries and other traditional Chinese crafts are. I purchased my first piece of embroidery during that trip and after that I started to learn Su embroidery, which is especially famous for its double-sided technique. The more I practiced it myself, the more I learnt how difficult and complicated it is to embroider a double-sided piece.

Driven by curiosity, I contacted some Chinese embroidery artists. When I referred to them as artists, they were totally at a loss as they were used to being called ‘female embroidery workers’. In Western society, everyone can add the title ‘artist’ to their profile as long as they have faith in their creations, but in China, artist is a title most people wouldn’t dare to use, and art is not something practised in everyday life; it is considered too far away for ordinary Chinese people to reach.

But from my point of view, I respect them as artists because they deserve the accolade, as do their incredible works! I’ve had so much praise from all over the world since I opened my Yingifts Instagram account, but all the credit really belongs to those amazing women.

Every time I translate these comments back to them, I can see their eyes sparkle and confidence in their smiles; it’s a wonderful thing. During conversations with them, I got to know that less and less young people are willing to do this job and the current embroiderers are generally in their 60s. It made me sad and also worried. I couldn’t stand the idea that such a wonderful thing might disappear one day! I felt like I had to do something as a Chinese person, and also as a human being; it is our shared heritage. I felt that I had to try my best to let the world discover this incredible art.

Since most of the artists I work with are not comfortable with being exposed under the spotlight, I decided to pop up and become the front end. I created a website (Yingifts.com) and an Instagram account (Yingifts) to showcase and sell the embroidery pieces I collect from these artists. So far, all the reviews I have received have been 5 stars; I’m really proud of the artists, and myself too. Some people call me an art enthusiast, but I’m not. I am just someone who loves beautiful things with a story behind them, like most people do.

One of our artists is 95 years old now. She’s still so passionate about embroidery. She’s survived WW2, the Chinese Civil War and the Cultural Revolution; she has lived a tough life, but throughout all of that, she picked up her needle and embroidered the beauty out of those ugly eras! These beautiful women definitely inspire me everyday – they are the epitome of the saying “do what you love, and love what you do”

Su embroidery is one of the oldest embroidery styles in the world, with origins stretching back more than 2,000 years. It was one of the first embroidery styles to be developed in China, and is well-known for its smoothness and delicacy. Su embroidery won Suzhou the title ‘Capital of Embroidery’ in the Qing Dynasty. It is a style characterized by brightly coloured silk threads with well-proportioned and uncluttered representations of almost any pastoral scene, person, animal, plants, or object.

One of the distinctive features of Su embroidery is the double-sided technique. Stitching takes place on both sides of a single piece of transparent silk fabric; all the loose threads and knots are skilfully hidden under layers of stitching so both sides of the piece look exactly the same – you won’t be able to tell which side is the front or back.

There are some even more interesting designs which have different colours or even different patterns on each side. This technique requires years of practice, experience, and patience. Su embroidery generally uses much thinner threads than Western style embroideries. Experienced artists can split a single silk thread into 16 strands (usually 1/4 thread is already as thin as human hair). The thinner the threads are, the longer it takes, meaning the more details will be presented.

Hand embroidery was something that every girl had to master in the old times in China, but nowadays the appearance of machines has changed everything. I would love to see embroidery become a major in universities in China someday, bringing new energy and inspirations to this ancient Chinese art.

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