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Myths of Silk art

As Silk Art is new to most people there is concern for its true value.

These concerns usually revolve around a few questions : 

1. Is it cheap in China? Can I get a deal?

2. Am I spending too much for the art I am getting?

3. Does the art have credibility and long term value?

4. How do I know it is not machine made?

5. Are these being made by children?

 

Let us start with

 

Is it cheap in China? Can I get a deal?                                                 

Maybe 20 years ago,  a piece of high quality Silk Art, when the Chinese were paid 10 cents an hour might have been inexpensive. This is simply no longer the case.  As China has gained in wealth so has the demand for Silk Art and the price, especially our museum quality pieces.

You can get cheap embroidery in China - this is generally aimed at tourists who do not understand about the art and are seeing embroidery for the first time. These are cheap knockoffs and are not the real Silk Art. Unfortunately these also can be found on the internet. You must understand about quality levels before buying a piece of Silk Art.

Today, you will not get high quality Silk Art in China cheap. 

The key factor driving the value is the labor going into the art. Typically top end artists get paid $3.00 to $5.00 an hour. (This is a good wage in China and the families producing Silk Art are well taken care of - they are a national treasure).

Do not expect to get a masterpiece of art which takes 400 to 600 hours of work to make for $200.  That is just not a realistic expectation. Our masterpieces are the type of art given to heads of state and museums.

If I sell you a piece of art for $200 this means only somewhere between 5 hours to 20 hours of work was put in to the art or it is machine made. or partially machine made.  Common sense should tell you a masterpiece of hand stitch art is not being produced in 5 to 20 hours.

Overall - the key is let your eyes be the judge.   One is a wow the other is very coarse. Please look at our side by side comparisons in understanding quality. 

 

Am I spending too much on the art?                                                                 

As a general rule of thumb, a piece of Silk Art, 20 inches by 20 inches stitched at a 4 strand level will run around $2000.00

We have done our best to make the pricing fair and equitable for the level of quality. What is confusing is you can have the “same” image done at different quality levels and unless you understand the quality levels you will not understand why the pricing is the way it is.

The pricing on our web site provides Silk Art at non - gallery pricing.  It is not full retail and not that far off our wholesale price.

We consider these exceptional values for the art as you are working directly with the artists without the overhead of a gallery.

 

Does the art have credibility and long term value?                                            

The right piece, we believe it will.  Keep in mind this art form has been around for thousands of years and top end pieces sell in the hundred of thousands of dollars. See some of our grand masters.

BUT  it is with hesitation I would accept any claim of long term value for any art.  The only way to truly see if art has investment value is when it is resold.  Find art because you love it, not because you expect it to be worth thousands of dollars in years to come.

One of the big reasons we believe Silk Art will increase in value is simply what is happening to the art.  The way you get a 2000 year history to the art is when you are born you have no choice.  In today's China people have lots of choices.  A major concern is, as China industrializes, the hand arts, especially one where you spend hour after hour after hour stitching, will disappear.

 

How do I know it is not machine made?                                                           

Hand made embroidery process vs machine made process. Please see our section on machine made.        

   

Handmade  Embroidery Process (click here see hand stitching video)

 

Machine Embroidery Process (click here see machine stitching video)

     

Hand dyed pure silk thread vs machine thread.        

 
Handmade Embroidery Thread - Hand Dyed Pure Silk Thread   Machine Embroidery Thread
     

100% Handmade Suzhou silk embroidery artwork vs machine embroidery.        

 
Handmade Silk Embroidery Artwork   Machine Embroidery
     

 

Are these being done by children?                                                                    

NO, again NO.  Silk Art masterpieces are not the work of children.  It takes 20 years to master the techniques in order to produce high quality Silk Art.  Please see our section on artistic talent.

You are working directly with the artists and their families.  We do not put our children at risk for the sake of a few dollars.