Embroidered Shoes



Embroidered shoes (Xiuhuaxie, Xiuxie or Zhahuaxie in Chinese) means shoes with embroidery on surface in bright colors, various embroidery methods and patterns reflecting people’s expectation for happy life. The inheritor, Jiang Lijuan, started learning embroidery when she was ten years old, and devoted her 40 years in studying and manufacturing handcrafted cloth shoes, especially in children's shoes which she excelled in:  shoes of boys are mainly tiger-head shoes with cute tiger-head-shape at shoes heads, tiger-prawn patterns at laterals and cocked tiger-tail shape at rare; shoes of girls with flower and bird patterns at head symbolizing good luck and happiness. The shoes are popular at home and abroad with many awards.



As early as 5,000 years ago, in the Neolithic Age, leather boots had emerged in the lives of Chinese people. Gradually, shoes made of various materials and in diverse styles came into existence. After the social division of labor when men were to till the land and women weave cloth, diligent and intelligent Chinese women, throughout the dynasties, have passed down the ancient technique of embroidering shoes from generation to generation. Stitch by stitch, they were narrating aesthetic notions, cultural traditions, ethics and virtues, as well as the fashion trends of each dynasty with these tiny shoes. From vamp to upper, from welt to sole, embroidery meets a niche in which a little sparkle is in line with the Eastern vogue of advocating aestheticism. The motifs originate from folk culture and customs, such as flowers, birds, insects, fish, animals, mountains, rivers, fruits, and figures from traditional operas. Auspicious patterns to wish that others soon bear children and that a life-long happy marriage prevails. People's values and pursuit for a happy life are vividly demonstrated in these beautiful embroidered products.