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Woolen Needlepoint Brings the Eight Presidents of IOC to Beijing Olympiad
    2008-08-14 21:58:20     CRIENGLISH.com

Woolen needlepoint portraits of the eight president of IOC are on display in Beijing Exhibition Center from August 8 to August 18, 2008. [Photo: CRIENGLISH.com/ Cao Jie]

Hanging in the Beijing Exhibition Center are portraits of the eight presidents of International Olympic Committee. To the untrained eye they appear as paintings, but look a little closer and you will find that they are actually woolen needlepoint tapestries, a kind of precious handicraft in China.

The craftwork is made from wool embroidered on hard flax. Historical evidence shows that the technique was introduced into China from the west one hundred years ago. Now after a period of development, China's woolen needlepoint has its own style, and this is shown in the eight portraits.

Qin Yongfu, who has been involved in woolen needlework for more than 30 years, is a member of the producing team. He says that Chinese traditional embroidery techniques strongly distinguish their works from others.

"To create a natural transition between colors, we split the wool into four or eight parts, and then entwist the wools of different colors into one string. This technique is introduced from Chinese traditional embroidery. The effect of the technique impresses many of our foreign counterparts."

Woolen needlepoint is complicated and subtle, and to command all the techniques of the craftwork, an artisan usually trains for more than 20 years. The ages of the current production team members all surpass fifty.

Qin Yongfu says that although they have completed many portraits in the past, they still see progress in these pieces of works.

"We've done a better job than ever before. What differs from the previous situation is that we don't have clear photos as references. Because the photography technology was poor when some of the IOC presidents were alive, we had to carefully construct some of the details as compensation. We ended up with a better visual effect."

These tapestries were produced especially for the Beijing Olympic Games, and sponsored by the time-honored brand, Heng Yuan Xiang Knitting Yarn. They will be displayed in the Beijing Exhibition Center from August 8 to 18.

For CRI Webcast, I'm Cao Jie.

(Reporter, Editor: Cao Jie)

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What do you think will impress foreign visitors the most during the Beijing Olympics?
The friendliness of the Beijing people
The Water Cube and other Olympic venues
The Forbidden City
The Great Wall
Beijing "siheyuan" (Chinese traditional courtyard houses)
Peking Opera
Wangfujing Street
Beijing Roast Duck