Horsehair Embroidery Baby-Carrying Strap of the Shui People


Horsehair embroidery is a special embroidery technique handed down by women of Shui through generations, which takes tail hair of horses as main raw material and is known as the "living fossil" of embroidery. One shall fetch 3 to 4 hairs from a horse’s tail to make the core and tightly twine the white thread onto the horsehair; in the second step, they need to embroider this white horsetail core onto the contour with traditional embroidery or paper-cut patterns. Thirdly, they would select 7 colored silk threads, weave them into flat-shaped designs and fill them in the intervals of the contour with embroidered grains. In the fourth place, they would embroider the rest sections with the commonly-utilized techniques like plain embroidery, hand-stitching, disordered needlework and skipping stitch. The lines of this baby-carrying strap are all twined with three to four tail hairs, which would then be embroidered with lock-embroidery techniques, so as to bring up the bas-relief appearance, and abstract, exaggerated modeling. Currently, horsehair embroidery of the Shui people has been selected into the National Intangible Cultural Heritage List.