Silk Art History

Where is Silk Art from?

Silk production in China began over 2500 years ago. Chinese museums display remnants of ancient silk embroidery artwork dating back between three and four thousand years. The origins of Silk Art date back more 2500 years. The collective of trade routes that eventually became known as The Silk Road, did not export silk out of China until a generation after Silk Art's birth.  The story of Silk Art and Suzhou begins with the beginning of imperial China. More than two millennia ago, the first emperor of China, Qin Shi Huang, designated 11 families as his official royal embroiderers. The Emperor placed those families in a serene water village called Suzhou, about 60 miles west of Shanghai, China. One of these families was the Zhang family, our ancestors.

Until the end of imperial China, this silk artwork was only available to the aristocracy of China. Even today it is little seen outside of China. Many of the 11 families are still in Suzhou today creating Silk Art. Forest Zhang, the President of King Silk Art and his sister Mei Zhang, who manages the House of Zhang in Suzhou, are proud descendants of this treasured legacy.

Suzhou became an important stop on the Silk Road and evolved into a large and prosperous city. Today, Silk Art  is one of the most renowned traditional folk arts in China.

King Silk Art is a completely holistic family business. The House of Zhang in Suzhou is managed by the elder sister Mei Zhang. The House of Zhang cultivates silk worms, produces silk thread, dyes the thread and weaves each canvas. Our skilled and talented artists use these proprietary raw materials to stitch handmade Silk Art.




Silk Art was Emperor's Art

Silk Art is the art of painting with a needle and thread. The stitching is done by hand using silk thread on silk fabric. Silk Art is highly prized in China, recognized as the art of Emperors. 

In the west, we learn about Van Gogh and the other great western art masters growing up, as part of our cultural heritage. Chinese children learn about Silk Art. Silk Art’s ancient traditions come from the royal embroiderers, families placed in Suzhou, China over two thousand years ago by the first Chinese Emperor to embroider his robes. The artwork produced by these families all belonged to the Emperor, hence the art of King's, and our name King Silk Art.

The techniques and skills necessary to create Silk Art are passed from generation to generation, and require years of training to master the techniques. While embroidery is ubiquitous throughout the world, high quality Silk Art is rare. Only a tiny handful of people can produce Silk Art that touches your heart and soul.

The real reason, however, to possess Silk Art, is its beauty. The gentle kiss of love, the warmth of a summer afternoon, the wind on your face, the water flowing by, the delicate touch of the feathers fluttering, the majestic animal become poetry in the Silk Art form.

There is a sense of life you can taste with your eyes, a sense of spirit captured as no other media can. This exquisite artwork will remain pristine for your family to appreciate for generations. Please explore our galleries and join the international family of Silk Art collectors.




Who make Silk Art?                                                                                                       

King Silk Art is a completely holistic family business.  The House of Zhang in Suzhou, is managed by Mei Zhang.  The House of Zhang cultivates silk worms, produces silk thread, dyes the thread and weaves each canvas. Our skilled and talented artists use these proprietary raw materials to create handmade Silk Art. 

Once the Silk Art is perfect, King Silk Art takes over. Forest Zhang, Mei’s brother and President of King Silk Art, travels the 21'st Century Silk Art Road, paving the way for our Silk Art.  Like two members of the same family, The House of Zhang and King Silk Art are separate entities, but forever intertwined.

King Silk Art is now based in Southern California.  We are proud of our new aesthetic, where we create both this ancient form of art, and add a touch of modern thought into some of the original designs. We believe that with our continuous efforts, this ancient art will never become extinct and will evolve with time. 

In 2004, when we first introduced our handmade Silk Art in Canada, we were thrilled by the response. As the years have passed and we've visited new countries and continents, we continue to be delighted by the universal admiration for the tradition that is so dear to us. In the future, we hope that more and more people will have a chance to appreciate the beauty of this ancient fine art.


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About Suzhou Watertown

The home of the House of Zhang and the birthplace of Silk Art is a city called Suzhou, located in the deltas of the Yangtze River in Southeastern China, about 60 miles west of Shanghai.

Suzhou has a history of more than 2,500 years, dating back to the late Shang Dynasty. Marco Polo called Suzhou "The Venice of the East“. An old Chinese saying calls Suzhou a "Paradise on the Earth“. Centuries of tourists have praised the beauty of Suzhou’s nature, classical gardens, bridges, waters, traditional operas, and the soft tone of the dialect. Suzhou is still a favorite tourist destination with a rich history and a fascinating present.

Over the years, Suzhou has evolved into a modern industrial city. With a total area of nearly 8500 square miles and a population of just over 6 million, Suzhou is a major manufacturing, technology, investment and exporting base in China.



About Suzhou Gardens                                                                                                        

Suzhou, China is a city of rivers and canals and is also famous for being a city of gardens. The Ming and Qing dynasties between the 14th and 20th century, were prime periods of garden building. At one time there were more than 200 private family gardens in Suzhou. A dozen of them are still in good condition today, including the top four classic gardens. They are the Fisherman's Net Garden, Lion Grove, Humble Administrator's Garden, and Lingering Garden. Two of them are listed as the Great World Heritage Sites.

The Humble Administrator's Garden is the largest garden, occupying four hectares (between 9 and 10 acres). This garden was built in 1522 during the Ming Dynasty. Water accounts for three-fifths of its total area and all the major buildings are facing the water. Centering on the pool, bridges and corridors harmoniously link up isles, rockeries, pavilions and towers. The garden shows a natural and flowing artistic style.

From the 14th century onwards, Suzhou’s wealth attracted many dignitaries, scholars and artists who transformed the city into a flourishing cultural centre. They built elegant mansions and gardens while top artisans weaved and embroidered for Chinese rulers and royal families across Europe.

Suzhou is famous for its gardens in the classical Chinese style. Each Garden has its own unique layout. In many of these gardens, water is emphasized, with artificial hills around it, connected with elegant corridors and pavilions.


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