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G20: Touch the World with A Wisp of Silk



At the opening ceremony of the 2016 G20 Business Summit (B20 Hangzhou Summit) on September 3, Christine Lagarde, Managing Director of the International Monetary Fund, wore an elegant blue-green scarf. The iron lady from France, known as "Chanel" in the financial world, chose the "Hangzhou element" this time. This silk scarf called "silk water tenderness". The green tone is like the water of the West Lake, and there is a pattern of "Three Pools Mirroring the Moon" on one of the ten sights of the West Lake, integrating LOGO line of G20. A fine plain crepe satin on one side and a smoke and fog like silk gauge on the other side, which expresses the unique exquisite tenderness of the silk weaving house. Its maker is Wensli, a local silk company based in Hangzhou.



Despite having participated in international events many times, Tu Hongyan, Chairman of Wensli Group, felt more excitement than ever before when the silk element shone at the summit. "The extent to which silk has been used in this event is unprecedented. Wensli’s silk initiative was unleashed at the event. This time, she said, silk and Hangzhou were "ready."


More than 30 embroidered female workers’ 4 months handwork

Create China's largest Double-sided embroidery screen


The Splendor of the Heyday double-sided embroidery screen: When the 2.6-meter-high, 4.8-meter-wide, 1.8-ton work appeared in the VIP reception hall of West Lake Guesthouse, the magnificent atmosphere of 20 peony flowers of different shapes is perfectly blended with the dignified atmosphere of the venue.


Known as the "miracle of the finger tips", this work has refreshed the history of China's double-sided embroidery, not only setting the highest standards, but also making China's top embroidery skills come back. In order to complete this work, Wensli’s embroidery studio in Suzhou convened more than 30 embroiderers who are generally having experience of over 30 years. It took more than four months to produce the largest double-sided embroidery in history in three shifts. It would take at least a year and a half for such a large, detailed work to be completed on a regular basis.



The best embroidery products are not simple paintings, but to use a needle and thread to let the work "live" up. At the time of needlework, the designers and the embroiderers refer to the art works of different peony themes, and study the growing process of peony from the perspective of life. The change of luster, thickness and color, the growth posture of every flower and leaf are all organically presented. In the end, the lines of embroidery were drawn by Wang Zushi, a disciple of leading Suzhou embroidery authority Ren Huixian, who had decades of experience in sketching. After drawing up the whole large manuscript, the teacher drew hundreds of small manuscripts for each flower and leaf. The direction of embroidered thread is drawn out on each manuscript, the technical term is "silk texture". When embroidering, the embroiderer again referred to the local small manuscript and determined the direction of embroidery thread. They really made it to have no picture in hand but have a picture in their mind.



Embroidery is a unique art, and every stitch in the direction of each line needs to be based on the growth and dynamics of flowers and leaves. Only in this way can a work be embroidered with vitality, and this skill takes into account the artistic background of the embroiderer. For example, to embroider a peony core, it needs to split a silk thread to 1/48 fine to present. The Splendor of the Heyday double-sided embroidery screen has 20 peonies, each of which is different in color, with more than 40 colors. As many as 800 kinds of silk thread are used, which is only the color of peony flower. There are magpies, butterflies, magnolia and so on the embroidered articles, these add up to need more than 2000 kinds of silk threads.


"Twenty peonies, some in full bloom, some in half-blooming, and some in bud, symbolize the presence of the G20 countries on the world stage." According to Li Jing, the Magnolia tree on the left side of the picture implies the moral of "friendship between gentlemen" in traditional Chinese culture. The active picture of butterflies, magpies and other elements, all convey the Chinese craftsmen's best wishes for this event.


Tackle several industry problems 

Giant silk murals reveal the panorama of the West Lake


On the evening of September 4, the State Dinner Hall of the Zhejiang Xizi Hotel hosted a welcome dinner for the G20 summit in Hangzhou. Silk elements were "everywhere": On the invitation letter of the head of state, the most representative Three Pools Mirroring the Moon was printed on the silk scroll and placed in the cover of silk brocade; At the banquet, the guest's signature and each table number plate were silk texture, the finalized menus and programs were printed on the silk; Behind the guests, a 6-meter-high and 20-meter-long mural in the state banquet hall showcased the magnificent beauty of nature in West Lake. If you look closely, you will notice that the material is not common paper, but silk, when walking, you can even feel the sparkling surface of the lake.



The process of presenting the largest silk mural in China was also extremely difficult. The work comes from a Chinese ink painting called Splendid West Lake. The original painting was composed of 15 pieces that were actually equivalent to those of giant silk murals. Famous calligraphers were invited to draw them, and it took more than 20 days to draw them. After converting the original contents to electronic files at 1:1, the working group spent about a month "carpeting" mending and color correction of the scanned drawings.

Because it is a combination of 15 pictures to achieve the silk mural, "seamless" is the first key element of success or failure. The most important problem is the color difference in the process of spray printing, which is also the core technology of Wensli. Limited by many factors, such as the difference of color mode between input and output devices and the specificity of computer color modulation software to the color carrier, there is a color difference between the color presented on the computer and the color printed out. To achieve "what you see is what you get" in terms of color, this is an industry problem. However, this problem has been overcome by Wensli, which realizes the use of precision digitization instead of manual experience color adjustment, and the barrier-free conversion between computer RGB color standard and print CMYK mode. For the first time, it has increased the color similarity between the display color on the screen and the actual color printed on the fabric to more than 95%, a qualitative breakthrough.


Unlike ordinary paper materials, silk has a certain ductility. When encountering water, every 6 meters extend 6 centimeters, when water evaporates, it will shrink back 18 centimeters. To complete the collage of the whole work on the wall, the working group must grasp the time point when the silk retracts to a fixed length and finish the painting's wall application in just three minutes. It took the working group more than a week to wait for silk paper to retract to its best length and to complete the collage of the entire 15 sheets of paper.


Even if carrier innovation, technological innovation is a relatively mature technology of Wensli, there are too many unprecedented issues in the works. The domestic standard for the slope of silk weft is 3 cm per meter, and the international standard for big brands is even more stringent. The error per meter cannot exceed 1.5 cm. On the West Lake panorama, Wensli has narrowed the error to less than a millimeter, 20 times higher than the current highest standard. In addition, a new type of glue developed by enterprises has also been used in the "silk mural" on the wall. Using special materials, the glue itself has a certain toughness, the glue thickness of 5 mm should be absolutely controlled and cannot be deformed during operation. From spray printing to mounting to wall base, the perfection of each link is the basis of the perfect presentation of this panoramic silk mural.



Silk scarf national gift integrates merges Chinese and Western cultures

Silk elements were found all over the summit

When a theatrical performance with West Lake Water as its stage set off a "most memorable is Hangzhou" was in full swing, many people in the WeChat moments, have noticed the items in the guests hands: The blue-green silk purse, centered with a Chinese lute button, is also made by Wensli, along with a soft silk handkerchief. As the summit ended, Wensli’s silk effect has been heating up: G20 postcards and scarves from 20 countries in cooperation with china post office were sold out of stock and the physical showroom for the G20 scarves memorial gifts was out of stock a little later…


Wensli's commemorative gift for the spouses of G20 heads of state is a long scarf called the Jiguangfengyu. In order to present the traditional charm of China, the design team re-created the image of phoenix, a Chinese classic element. Different from the general concept of plane "phoenix", the phoenix on this long scarf has more than 20 kinds of coloring, which greatly enhances its three-dimensional sense. At the same time, the overall tone of the silk scarf adopts the most traditional red and yellow colors in China. where phoenix stands on the top of the canopy, containing the spirit of inclusiveness. It is decorated with precious stones, phoenix pendant, beads and other elements and matched with double phoenix beaded patterns, gorgeous and dazzling.


"In order to ensure the high standard of the national gift of silk scarves, it integrates the group's best resources in both china and France, including product design, material development, process research, quality testing, cross-border cooperation, production processes, etc., and starts up the highest production specifications. The scarves project alone has set up four design teams with more than 30 designers and more than 100 technical craftsmen watching each link closely, and many senior engineers at the professor level controlling the entire process. " The Chairman of the Wensli Group, also the G20's "Chief Engineer", told reporters.

Tu Hongyan explained to reporters by taking " Jiguangfengyu " long scarf as an example that after the design was finalized, in order to achieve the design goal, there were about 125 times of light color adjustment tests, and each time it needed to be washed, needles and post-treatment to determine whether it was suitable or not.


Another silk scarf uses the classic rose elements that are favored by all nationalities in the world. The large and small roses are distributed in the shape of stars, showing a rhythmic and dynamic picture. Blooming flowers are full of vitality energy, high-grade gray color is classic and meaningful, which is elegant and quiet without losing nobility.




This has been the most thorough infiltration of silk elements in the international grand gathering. Traditional elements such as silk bedding, silk pajamas, silk art furnishings and other traditional elements were found in the hotel rooms where G20 leaders stayed. Outside the reception hall of the West Lake State Guesthouse, two octagonal screens have displayed the natural beauty of a corner of the State Guesthouse and the Leifeng Pagoda by using the technique of disorderly stitch embroidery. It is known that at the G20 Hangzhou summit, products with silk elements have been used everywhere in the corners of the venue, and there have been hundreds of varieties.


In addition, Wensli has also completed the etiquette of Hangzhou International Expo Center, West Lake State Guesthouse and other G20 summit venues. There have been 8 styles of costume design for service personnel. At the main venue of the summit, Hangzhou International Expo Center, to match the gray and blue background, the costume has been designed in a traditional landscape tone. There have been both hand-drawn and hand-embroidered crafts on 380 sets of garments. According to the standards of high-end customized clothes, 40% of the process of each silk garment still needs to be completed by hand after the machine cutting. A landscape on the shoulders of the West Lake needs to be hand-painted for 3 days; A small hand embroidery details, also need 20 days of "concentration" of the Suzhou and Hangzhou masters.


When the world's attention is focused on Hangzhou, silk also shows its "international style" appropriately. Every item containing silk elements appeared in the grand event, which became another blend of ancient, modern and foreign elements. There is more to silk than that, and more to innovation. With Hangzhou as the new starting point, the silk international journey sets off again.