Embroidery is often referred to as “thread painting” because it creates such a lovely effect. Embroidered cloth can be used for business and promotional purposes, creative expression, fashion, and more. It truly is an art form that dates back to around the 5th century BCE. If you’re thinking about learning this craft or you’re just interested in some trivia about embroidery, check out these seven things that you might not have known about it.
#1. Embroidered Material Is Very Durable
Embroidery makes clothing and fabric safe for washing machines, fabric cleaners, and everyday wear and tear. Even weather conditions and heavy laundering that uses high heat won’t break down the fibers. What’s more, the colors stay vibrant for years to come. From this point of view, embroidery combines form and function!
#2. There Are Different Hand-Embroidered Stitches
A running stitch is a simple technique that is often used with other stitches such as back, split, or stem stitching. Cross and chain stitches are named for the pattern in which the individual passes the thread over the material. Other hand stitches include French knots, satin, feathering, and couching stitches.
#3. Many Types of Fabrics Can Be Embroidered
Embroidered chiffon fabric is lightweight and sheer, perfect for adding a feminine touch to a look. Embroidered net fabric is intricate yet sturdy and often features floral motifs. Embroidered rayon fabric is an economical choice that offers lots of style options to choose from. That being said, cheap, everyday fabric won’t be the best material for your embroidery. You want something with high quality and durability that will also look pristine. That’s why embroidered wedding fabric can be expensive but worth it.
In addition, some embroidery enthusiasts will find just about anything to work with, be it paper, cushions, pillows, napkins, or tapestries.
#4. There Are Global Styles All Over the World
Each region has its own technique and some popular motifs and patterns that crop up around that area. For example, in France, floral embroidered fabric shows up on etui, little decorative carrying cases for things such as makeup or personal items. Things such as appliques, beads, and buttons are often added to the white embroidered fabric for more visual appeal.
Over in Sweden, individuals often work with Perle cotton for a technique called huck weaving. Dala embroidery is popular in Sweden and incorporates lots of folk elements on allover embroidered fabric. A hop, skip, and jump away in Ireland, it’s not uncommon to see Celtic knots and crosses on embroidered cotton fabric.
This handicraft is present in Asia too; in Japan, there is an interesting technique of decorating Temari balls with thread. These colorful, embroidered balls often depict natural elements and are given as gifts around the New Year.
India is one of the meccas of embroidery design dress material. Indian embroidered fabric is ornate, is vivid, and incorporates other materials such as mirrors or glass. The subcontinent abounds with different embroidery patterns and styles so visitors will see something new in each place they visit.
#5. Embroidery Is Not Applique
The two seem strikingly similar yet they have their differences. Embroidery involves weaving different-colored thread onto a material while applique is when a person sews a piece of cloth to another material to add dimension. The two techniques can work together, however, and many designs incorporate both embroidery and applique to create beautiful works.
#6. The Most Famous Example of Embroidery Is the Bayeux Tapestry
One of the most well-known embroidered works in the Bayeux Tapestry, which depicts the story of William the Conqueror in 1066. It’s about 230 feet long and shows 70 different scenes that were woven with wool yarn. The two primary stitches in this piece include couching and stem stitching.
India also popularized several types of embroideries such as Aari, Chikankari, Kantha, Kashidakari, Phulkari, Rajasthani, and Zardozi. Patchwork, weaving with gold and silver threads and stitching concentric circles make up some of these stunning techniques. Flower motifs are commonly seen in Punjabi, while more traditional symbols and designs can be found in Odisha. The delicate Chikankari style is said to have originated from Nur Jehan, the wife of Mughal Emperor Jahangir. Furthermore, cotton embroidered dress material in Delhi is popular to this day, as is embroidered net fabric in India.
#7. Embroidery Today Is a Blend of Old and New
Traditionally, embroidered fabric for dresses and art objects used linen, silk, or wool. Different geographic locations, of course, used whatever was most available at the time. Over thousands of years, trends developed and handicraft workers began to experiment with new yarns and grounding fabrics. Today, most manufactured embroidery thread comes in cotton and rayon as well as more traditional materials.
Moreover, the technology age has ushered in digital embroidery, in which a computerized machine digitizes the embroidery on printed fabric. Embroidery machines can add “fillers” to the designs to create more intriguing textures. There is even 3D embroidered fabric that adds a new layer of intrigue to these embellished designs.