Monday, November 15, 2010

Chinese Textiles

A few months ago I had an unexpected phone call, inviting me to be the guest speaker at the Mandurah Antiques and Collectables Club.
I've been collecting Chinese textiles since living in Singapore in 2000.
In the past I've approached the WA Embroiderer's Guild  numerous times, to display them, but no-one has ever taken me up on the offer, which has been disappointing.
One of the highlights of collecting, is to be able to show them to other people and share the joy of them, and also to educate, so it was a wonderful surprise when the invitation from the A&C Club arrived.
Yesterday was the big day, and what a lovely group of people they were.  I was bowled over by the enthusiasm and appreciation of these people, they made me so welcome and showed such a lot of interest, that I went home on a high.
I've included photos of a few of my textiles for you to see.  From top to bottom, they include a baby carrier, a cloud collar, another baby carrier, two childrens hats ...
Above are a pair of childrens embroidered boots, which have to be one of my favourite items - they are so small, and the couched metal strips shine beautifully.
Below ia a close up of some of the amazing embroidery on another child's hat.  Although this piece has faded over the years since it was originally made, you can still see glimpses of the intense green silk lining and imagine how vibrant it would have been.
Below are a pair of lotus shoes ... not quite the tiny 3" golden lillies, but still small, none-the-less.  I also have two pairs of lotus slippers, all exquisitely hand embroidered with silk.  Yet as beautiful as they are, its bitter-sweet to imagine the painful bound feet that would have worn them.
  Does anyone else collect any textiles?  I'd love to hear about them, if you do.


  1. What a pity I live so far away, I'd love to see your collection. WA Embroiderers Guild are missing out, their members are losing a great opportunity.
    You'll probably find that now you've made this talk other offers will follow!

  2. Oh Julie - you've got more layers than an onion. How fascinating and what a collection. Wish I could see it for real, but your photos are excellent. I am full of envy.

  3. I've really enjoyed looking at these - what exquisite embroidery and pattern. I try NOT to collect things because of the cluttered environment I grew up in! My mum has a collection of dolls from around the world and she used to give talks on them all, wanting to share their stories a bit like you are doing here. Thanks so much for your comment on my last post - things are very grim at the moment but the support of friends makes a huge difference. xx