Embroidered Shoes, also called Embroidery Shoes, is a perfect combination of the shoe culture and embroidery art. This unique handicraft of Chinese nation is deeply rooted in the national culture and functions as an article for daily use. It is reputed as “Chinese shoes”.
As early as 5,000 years ago, in the Neolithic Age, leather boots was already emerged in the lives of Chinese people. Gradually, shoes made of various materials in diversified styles came into existence. After the social labor division,men should till the land and women was responsible to weave the cloth. As we all know, the diligent and intelligent Chinese women have passed down the ancient technique of embroidering shoes from generation to generation through dynasties. Stitch by stitch, they combined the aesthetic notions, cultural traditions, ethics and virtues to the fashion trends of each dynasty in the tiny shoes. From vamp to welt and sole, embroidery can be found almost in every part of the shoes. The designs of the shoes are based on folk culture and customs, such as flowers, birds, insects, fish, animals, mountains, rivers, fruits, and figures in traditional operas. People’s values and pursuit for a happy life are vividly displayed in these beautiful embroidered products. For example, People always embroider some auspicious patterns to wish the others have a baby soon or a life-long happy marriage.
There has been a shared understanding, ever from the ancient times, that women should have the capability of embroidering on shoes. Many women began to learn how to embroider and make shoes in their childhood. Gradually, a woman will be regarded talented and skilled if she makes good embroidered shoes. The wisdom and aesthetic taste of a woman are demonstrated by pairs of these shoes created by her. Meanwhile, a bride-to-be will make shoes, clothes, and daily items with gorgeous embroidery as the best dowries she prepares for herself. A dozen years of endeavor has been spent on the embroidered shoes until the girl’s wedding day, which shows her purity, her loyalty to love, and her pursuit for happiness.
Embroidered shoes are a common cultural treasure owned by the Chinese nation. Among 55 ethnic minorities in China, over 20, such as Miao, Zhuang, Dong, Yao, Yi, take embroidered shoes as the characteristic of their costumes. The embroidered patterns of each ethic minority are varied, yet with the same label – China.