The Silk Needle

Welcome To Our World Of Silk Embroidery

“Art isn’t a display of wealth but an expression of imagination”

Our story
Xiao Xia Zhang is a master of the ancient art of Chinese Embroidery, a skill passed down through generations in her family. Beginning her journey as a young child, she learned the intricate techniques from her mother and grandmother, eventually honing her craft at the Chongqing Embroidery Academy in 1987. For the next 15 years, Xiao Xia dedicated herself to creating beautiful works of art, both for loved ones and for personal enjoyment.

In 2002, Xiao Xia brought her talents to the United States, where she began to showcase her art at various exhibitions. Her talent and dedication were quickly recognized, and she has since won numerous awards at prestigious shows across the country, including the National Endowment for the Arts-sponsored show in Cleveland, where she placed third in 2007. Her work has been celebrated in exhibitions in Ohio, New York, Pennsylvania, Michigan, Kentucky, Virginia, and Florida, among others, with highlights including the Best of Show at Disney’s Festival of the Masters in 2013.

Xiao Xia’s artistry is not only a reflection of her traditional training but also an expression of her newfound freedom to explore new ideas and subjects inspired by her life in the United States. While she still embraces the traditional scenes of her childhood, she has found inspiration in the landscapes and wildlife of her adopted home. Her artistry extends beyond mere replication, as she integrates random stitches into her embroidery to add depth, texture, and shadow.

Central to Xiao Xia’s art is her use of traditional tools and methods. She works on a wooden rack with iron needles, colored silk thread, and a silk background, meticulously embroidering each piece by hand. Her process involves sketching smaller embroideries directly onto the silk with a pencil, while larger works may be painted or sketched before being transferred to the background. Each piece is a labor of love, with Xiao Xia using a needle and silk strands as fine as 1/8 to create intricate and vibrant scenes.

In recent years, Xiao Xia has been joined by her daughter, Li Wen, who began her training in 2007 in China and has apprenticed with Xiao Xia since coming to America. Li Wen brings a youthful perspective to the art, adding her own unique talent and creativity to the studio. Together, they continue to push the boundaries of Chinese Embroidery, ensuring that this ancient art form will continue to thrive for generations to come.

Chinese Embroidery, with its 3,000-year history, is more than just a craft—it is a testament to the human spirit and a cherished cultural heritage. Xiao Xia Zhang and Li Wen are not just artists; they are custodians of a tradition, keeping alive an art form that is in danger of being lost to time.
shop THE silk NEEDLE

best collections

12×16 collection

Available 12×16

Beautiful small embroidery suitable for areas with small amount of space, a collage, or even a dresser or end table

Hear our clients words

“I bought 3 pieces to fill a narrow area in my living room. Now they are the only art that people talk about.”