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Stitching together a family legacy

Updated: 2024-03-26 07:25 ( China Daily )
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A traditional pattern made by Zhang Fan's team. [Photo by Gao Erqiang/China Daily]

To give the traditional craft a modern look, Zhang Fan and his mother spent decades on innovating the threads they used, as well as the themes. They worked with prominent artists, such as Wu Guanzhong, a Chinese modern art pioneer, and Chang Shana, an artist and renowned scholar on the studies of frescoes in Dunhuang, Gansu province, as well as foreign photographers.

The charm of Su embroidery for Zhang Fan lies in its rich and vibrantly colored silk threads, which give a luster to the patterns stitched on the fabric.

"It's an art of light. The flowers can change color when you see them from different angles. They look as if they are dancing on the breeze," says Zhang Fan.

To achieve such a magic effect, they use threads of various thickness and of different shades of a single color. For certain applications, they even create their own special silk threads.

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