White Cantonese embroidery shawl with the design of flowers
White cantonese embroidery shawl with the design of flowers, Qing Dynasty, 167x167cm
As an export product, shawl is very popular in Europe during the mid 18th century. (Guangdong Museum, 2009) Each year, about 80 thousand shawls were exported to foreign countries irrespective of its high price. (Guangdong Museum, 2009) Cantonese embroidery shawl was highly praised by Spain and has become part of their formal dress during festivals from long ago. The patterns on the white satin shawl are refined and dense, especially those on the four sides. This is done by the Pingxiu (平繡) which is suitable to embroider these small and detailed patterns. (Chan, 2005) Flat, small flowers and weed are embroidered on the whole surface of white satin as usual to show the diversity of plants in Guangdong. These flowers and weeds are brightly colored. Instead of using color of sharp contrast that Cantonese embroidery used to be, thread with similar color tones are used, e.g. pink, orange, purple etc. These adjustments are made to cater to the need of foreign customers.
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