Quality Guidelines for Silk Art
- Artistic Talent – The individual artist's skills and development.
- Strand Size – The thinner the thread, the more refined the art.
- Stitch Length – The shorter the stitches, the more percision of the art.
- Silk Colors – The more colors, the more realistic look of the art.
- Stitch Layers – The more layers, the greater the depth of perspective of the art.
- Silk Quality - Suzhou is the silk capital of the world, providing the optimal conditions for the silk worm. Suzhou Silk is the finest silk in the world.
skills and talent. The very first lessons begin on grandma's knee. For Silk Artfamilies, teaching our children about the family legacy is a centuries old tradition.
For those with talent and an interest, formal training starts in their late teens.
Artists must spend ten years as a student and another eight years as a teacher in order to meet the time requirement to be a Master Silk Artist. After five years as a Master Silk Artist, an artist may apply to become a Grand Master Silk Artist. These are general guidelines. Time alone does not necessarily make you a Master or Grand Master. Talent and skill must be demonstrated as well.
The thickness of the silk thread is an important aspect of each work of Silk Art. One silk thread can be divided into 16 individual strands, the smallest, finer than a human hair. A good rule-of-thumb is the thinner the silk, the finer the quality of the silk embroidery.
Overall, the affect of Silk Art is similar to Pointillism. Up close you can see each of the tiny stitches and marvel at the design and execution of such detailed work, but when you step back, you are enthralled by the beauty of the image created.
The quality of a piece is primarily identified by the strand count used to create the art. You can have a one strand piece, two strand piece, four strand piece, eight strand piece or sixteen strand piece. Only a tiny handful of people can stitch using a single strand.
The single strand is so delicate the slighest inadvertent movement can break it.
Single strand pieces are rare and very expensive, ranging in the thousands and hundreds of thousands of dollars. While some Master Artists can work in single strand, this is generally the realm of Grand Master Artists. The result is a near-photographic
realism for the nature-based pieces, and expression and emotion for the conceptual works.
We categorize our art as:
Medium - 8 Strands
Fine - 4 Strands
Very fine - 2 Strands
Ultra fine - 1 Strand, single
The two images below, give some perspective on thread thickness. The top image compares human hair with a single strand of silk thread. The bottom image compares the thickness of two strands, four strands, eight strands and sixteen stands.
The works of Master Artists usually have a mixture of strand counts, depending on the texture the artist is trying to achieve.
|Human hair compared with a single strand of silk thread, the curved lines are human hair|
|The middle straight line is single strand of silk thread, nearly invisible|
|2, 4, 8, 16 strands compared together|
|Medium - 8 Strands, Fine - 4 Strands, Very Fine - 2 Strands, Ultra Fine - 1 Strand, Single|
|Stand in front of this landscape, the middle of the road is heading straight for you!|
|Walk to the left side of this landscape, the middle of the road is still heading straight for you!|
|Walk to the right side of this landscape, the middle of the road is still heading straight for you!
Silk Quality is one of the key reasons Silk Art from Suzhou China is so famous. There are several areas in the world which produce silk art, Suzhou-China, Thailand, Dalat-Vietnam. Of these, Suzhou is recognized as The Silk Capital of the World. Suzhou was and is the beginning of the Silk Road. This is where Marco Polo went in the 13th Century. Suzhou provides the optimal conditions to raise silk worms, resulting in the highest light reflection qualities for silk, emphasizing dynamic color and light changes. In China, silk art from Suzhou is the most highly prized and sought after.
Suzhou is not only a garden city; it is also the capital of silk. In the Tang and Song dynasties, Suzhou was the undisputed silk center; and in the Ming and Qing dynasties, the imperial high-quality silk was in the main produced by Suzhou’s weavers.