M&O 2018 | Shen Yan: hand-embroidery leather bag

Fashion&Accessories / 4 Sep 2018

Yan Shen founded the brand ‘Yue Tian Embroidery’, and has been dedicated in designing and making leather goods for 20 years. At Maison&Objet, 7-11 September 2018, a series of Shen’s leather bags will be shown in our exhibition, Craft Transcendence: Chinese Contemporary Objects, at Hall 5, L90-M45.

Embroidery, as a symbol of Chinese traditional culture, is a delicate handicraft with a colourful natural thread used to create intricate patterns. The beauty of hand embroidery cannot be reproduced by the assembly line.

Yan Shen is particularly fascinated by the beauty of older embroidered pieces, although they are not as bright as the newer ones, the texture and variation of the appearance across the time, all add to the preciousness of this art.  By embroidering older redesigned pieces onto bags, according to the designer, is an endeavour to inherit this Chinese tradition. The designer tries to give the old embroidery a new meaning and revitalise the classical beauty with a modern twist.

The tools

The tools to make a unique embroidery leather bag can be divided into the following three categories:
1. Cutting leather: knife, ruler, cutting board;
2. Edge finishing: sanding paper, sanding rod;
3. Stitching: scriber, hoe, hammer, needle thread, clamping plate.

Picking the older embroidery pieces

Making process of an embroidery leather bag

1. Design, sketch, choose embroidery piece, pattern-cutting.

2. Choose leather. Different styles of embroidery match different shapes of bags.

3. Cut leather.

4. Scribe the lines.

5. Stitch together.

There is no one-time success, and it is impossible to create a masterpiece through a day’s work. There is no one-time success, and it is impossible to create a masterpiece through a day’s work. The unique work takes an artisan’s practice and experiments over a long time.

Yan Shen in her studio

Image source: Yan Shen

Yan Shen

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