Chinese Needlepoint

Written by Linda Alexander
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Chinese needlepoint has a long history, beginning with other needlework in China about 3,000 years ago. To this day, people in China continue their heritage by practicing the tradition of Chinese needlepoint. Recently, the improvement of needlework skills has surpassed any improvements in the past.

The Influence of Chinese Needlepoint

The influence of Chinese silk and designs on the world can be seen in needlepoint today. Silk was used as a primary thread for embroidery until the 1940s, when the World Wars dried up the silk supply instantly. Synthetic fibers were developed, and they replaced silk overnight. So people have looked at silk ever since as a rare and expensive fabric.

Chinese needlepoint often uses exotic designs such as black backgrounds with brightly colored patterns of dragons, flowers, and birds. The strong contrast shows the richness of the color and complexity of design. Silk is the primary thread used; it holds up over time and retains its luster, while cotton and synthetics lose their strength and color after a while.

The Chinese influence can be seen in many types of needlework projects. You can duplicate those designs for yourself too. Oriental items like kimonos may be decorated with needlepoint. Or, you may purchase needlepoint kits with traditional Chinese designs on them, such as dragons, geometric patterns, or flowers.


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