Embroidery

Embroidery is the art or handicraft of decorating fabric or other materials with designs stitched in strands of thread or yarn using a needle. Embroidery may also use other materials such as metal strips, pearls, beads, quills, and sequins. Sewing machines can be used to create machine embroidery.

Types of embroidery

Embroidery is classified according to the use of the underlying foundation fabric. One classification system divides embroidery styles according to the relationship of stitch placement to the fabric:

*In free embroidery, designs are applied without regard to the weave of the underlying fabric. Examples include crewel and traditional Chinese embroidery.

*In counted-thread embroidery, patterns are created by making stitches over a pre-determined number of threads in the foundation fabric. Counted-thread embroidery is more easily worked on an even-weave foundation fabric such as embroidery canvas, aida cloth, or specially woven cotton and linen fabrics although non-evenweave linen is used as well. Examples include needlepoint and cross-stitch.

A second division classifies embroidery according to whether the design is stitched "on top of" or "through" the foundation fabric:
* In Surface embroidery, patterns are worked on top of the foundation fabric using decorative stitches and laid threads. Surface embroidery encompasses most free embroidery as well as some forms of counted-thread embroidery (such as cross-stitch).

* In Canvas work, threads are stitched through a fabric mesh to create a dense pattern that completely covers the foundation fabric. All canvas work is not counted-thread embroidery. There are printed and hand painted canvases where the painted or printed image is meant to serve as a color guide. Stitches are sometimes of the stitcher's choosing.

An important distinction between canvas work and surface embroidery is that surface work requires the use of an embroidery hoop or frame to stretch the material and ensure even stitching tension that prevents pattern distortion. Canvas work tends to follow very symmetrical counted stitching patterns with designs developing from repetition of one or only a few similar stitches in a variety of thread hues. Most forms of surface embroidery, by contrast, are distinguished by a wide range of different stitching patterns used in a single piece of work.

Ribbon embroidery is embroidery performed with ribbon rather than standard six-thread string. Silk ribbon or a silk/organza blend ribbon are commonly used for this type of embroidery. There are many different styles of ribbon embroidery, such as woven rose, French knot, feather stich, fly stich, fly stich fern, couching stich, lazy daisy, looped petal flower, Japanese ribbon stich, stem stich rose, split stich, and straight stich. Those are usually taught to beginners who are just learning silk ribbon embroidery. Ribbon embroidery is most commonly used to create floral motifs. It's said to have a certain romantic and antique quality.

* In Machine embroidery, Embroidery designs are stitched with an automated embroidery machine. These designs are "digitized" with Embroidery Software. They can have different types of "fills" which add texture and design to the embroidery. Almost all basic types of embroidery can be created with Machine Embroidery. These include: Applique, Free Standing Lace, Cutwork, Cross-stitch, Photo Stitch, and Basic Embroidery. Most often this type of embroidery is associated with business shirts, gifts, team apparel and commercial use.

History

The origins of embroidery are lost in time, but examples survive from ancient Egypt, Iron Age Northern Europe and Zhou Dynasty China. It has many roots all around the world and is being done in many different ways because of their cultures.

Elaborately embroidered clothing, religious objects, and household items have been a mark of wealth and status in many cultures including ancient Persia, India, Byzantium, medieval England ("Opus Anglicanum" or "English work"), and Baroque Europe.

Hand embroidery is a traditional art form passed from generation to generation in many cultures, including northern Vietnam, Mexico, and eastern Europe.

The Bayeux Tapestry is not a true tapestry; it is an elaborately embroidered wall hanging originally displayed at the Bayeux Cathedral, and now housed at a special museum in Bayeux, Normandy.

Gallery

Notes

Additional Information

*S.F.A. Caulfield and B.C. Saward, "The Dictionary of Needlework", 1885.
*Virginia Churchill Bath, "Needlework in America", Viking Press, 1979 ISBN 0-670-50575-7
*Readers Digest Complete Guide to Needlework, 1979, ISBN 0-89577-059-8.
*Di van Niekerk, 'A Perfect World in Ribbon Embroidery and Stumpwork', 2006, ISBN 1-84448-231-6

External links

* [http://www.kalocsa-embroidery.com/ Kalocsa Embroidery - Hungarian pieces of folk art]
* [http://www.apparel2000.net/embroidery_glossary.html Glossary of Embroidery Terms]
* [http://www.japanesetemari.com/ Examples of hand ball embroidery from Japan]
* [http://www.museocaprai.it/ Virtual Museum of Textile Arts]
* [http://www.embroideryhandbook.com/ Embroidery Handbook]
* [http://www.four41.com/ Embroidery Design on Caps & Beanies]
* cite web |publisher= Victoria and Albert Museum
url= http://wwwrx.int.vam.ac.uk/collections/textiles/features/embroidery/index.html
title= Embroidery
work=Textiles
accessdate= 2008-07-01


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Look at other dictionaries:

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  • embroidery — late 14c., embrouderie art of embroidering; see EMBROIDER (Cf. embroider) + Y (Cf. y) (1) …   Etymology dictionary

  • embroidery — [n] fancy stitching adornment, appliqué, arabesque, bargello, brocade, crewel, crochet, cross stitch, decoration, lace, lacery, needlepoint, needlework, quilting, sampler, tapestry, tatting, tracery; concepts 218,259 …   New thesaurus

  • embroidery — ► NOUN (pl. embroideries) 1) the art or pastime of embroidering. 2) embroidered cloth …   English terms dictionary

  • embroidery — [em broi′dər ē, imbroi′dər ē] n. pl. embroideries [ME embrouderie: see EMBROIDER & ERY] 1. the art or work of ornamenting fabric with needlework; embroidering 2. embroidered work or fabric; ornamental needlework 3. embellishment, as of an account …   English World dictionary

  • embroidery — /em broy deuh ree, dree/, n., pl. embroideries. 1. the art of working raised and ornamental designs in threads of silk, cotton, gold, silver, or other material, upon any woven fabric, leather, paper, etc., with a needle. 2. embroidered work or… …   Universalium

  • embroidery — [[t]ɪmbrɔ͟ɪdəri[/t]] embroideries 1) N VAR Embroidery consists of designs stitched into cloth. The shorts had blue embroidery over the pockets... The panel contains an embroidery. 2) N UNCOUNT Embroidery is the activity of stitching designs onto… …   English dictionary

  • embroidery — noun (plural deries) Date: 14th century 1. a. the art or process of forming decorative designs with hand or machine needlework b. a design or decoration formed by or as if by embroidery c. an object decorated with embroidery 2. elaboration by use …   New Collegiate Dictionary

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