Artwork: Woman’s Back Apron
Design No: CH1116
Embroidery Style: Tin Appliqué
Era: Nationalistic Republic Era (circa 1930)
Framed Dimensions:
510mm x 900mm
Reference Material: Kuang Shi Zhao, Zhong Guo Miao Zu Fu Shi, p.75.

The Story behind the Artwork

‘Tin’ appliqué is crafted by the Miao people from Nanzhai Township, Jianhe County in Guizhou and is recognised as one of the most unusual, time consuming and technically demanding embroidery styles used. The intricacy of the work requires excellent eyesight and as such was traditionally crafted by teenage girls.

This remarkable work is the back apron from a traditional set of clothing worn by women and girls when attending festivals and market days. The technical skills of the embroiderer are obvious in this rare and exciting work. Using a hand woven silk back cloth the pieces of white metal are individually attached in a grid pattern with a second grid pattern of lozenge shaped eyelets stitched in floss silk.

The changing social structure in rural China is weakening many of cultural traditions as the older generations slowly pass away and the young move to the cities to seek employment in modern construction or industry. Younger generations struggle to see the relevance of ancient crafts in the contemporary world. This work is an exceptional example of ‘Tin’ embroidery which is increasingly becoming hard to find.