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11. The story about Chinese Needlepoint - Chinese Needlepoint History

Needlepoint, also known as woolwork, derived from the acient Egyptians who used small slanted stiches to sew up their canvas tents. In 14th century, a Germany peasant in accordance with fabric arrangement and calculated the number of needles, he sucessfully embroidered patterns on their own clothing, the materials and technique had been very similar with the needlepoint. During 16th century, a British people firstly created a special linen for embroidery, he used wool stitched patterns on the linen to make needlework like tapestries, wall hangings, cushions and so on. Needlepoint gradually prevailed in the United Kingdom during the 17th -- 19th century.

DongtaiIn 1886, the British missionary James Mamullan with his Yantai partner Xu Shiguang opened the "James Mamullan & Co" in China. In his spare time, missionary James Mamullan often went to Xu's home, for he was quite interested in the art of embroidery by Xu's daughter-in-law -- Mrs. Dong Tai. At that time, Mrs. Dong was already a household known name in Yantai as a local embroidery expert.

Queen Mary on TourAt the time when British Queen Mary's birthday, the missionary wanted to send a gift to the queen (Britain's most popular craft is needlepoint at that time), Queen Mary was also very good at needlepoint. An idea occasionally came into his mind: why not making a needlepoint for the Queen as a gift. He asked Mrs. to emborder a needlepoint tapestry according to the oil painting "Queen Mary on Tour". In 1886, Chinese woman Dong Tai started her first needlework, over 200 days and nights hard working, the Chinese needlepoint's debut, "Queen Mary on Tour" come out into being ( Which is now preserved in The British Museum). When Queen Mary reveived the tapestry, she was so amazed that she said she could never make so excellent masterpiece.


In this connection, the British needlepoint art introduced into China. In 1894, Xu Zhenbang, the son of Xu Shiguang, and his wife Yang Sumei opened the first needlepoint factory in Yantai - Limin Arts & Crafts Plant, Yantai people know as "Xu Zhuang Workshop". Xu Zhenbang engaged in design, the pattern designed in accordance with the time of Louis XIV style, his mother Dongtai and his wife Yangsu Mei were responsible for the emboriderd samples, while "James Mamullan & Co" in charge of export business. At that time, the fabric (linen, now known as steel wire cloth) from Yantai "Ding Xinjiu" weaving factory. Till World War II, Xu opend more than 90 workshops, and hired more than 400 workers.

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