Embroidery is Soul of Crafting

“The ’60s had an edge; the ’70s had embroidery”
 Gina Barreca

Embroidery - An art in a piece of cloth

Designers call it the art of painting depicted in a fabric base. But we do it with a needle and thread. This most delicate art of hand embroidery has the element of self-expression, creativity and imagination – resulting in an acknowledgement as a work of art from all over the world since time immemorial.

The story of embroidery dates back to even the pre-historic era with the discovery of needles during excavations. However, coming back to the 21st century, the presence of embroidery in your dress material always adds grace, charm and becomes a fashion statement. The popular ornamental look-alike decoration in your dress creates a classic pattern with decorative stitches or laid thread.

Embroidery Sewing machines use a programmed zig-zag stitch pattern to create different types of embroidery designs. For ages, the craftsman has been doing embroidery by hand or sometimes using a domestic sewing machine. Hand embroidery uses needles and thread to make beautiful stitches.

We also have specialized computerized sewing machines with customized software to embroider up to 1200 stitches per minute with multiple colored threads. So be it a simple or intricate design work on fabric, there is scope for embroidery.

Embroidery - From the Pages Of History

The origins of embroidery find mention in the Bible and in Greek mythology eminent textile researchers also say that it probably originated from China and is approximately an art 4500 years old. Few also echoed that even in Latin America, the trace of ancient embroidery, which dates back to the 5th century BCE, was available during excavations.

The usage of embroidery techniques was pretty evident in religious ceremonies and culture. The Medieval church from Europe fostered with -Opus Anglicanum – A type of needlework made in England during the Middles Ages and was widely exported throughout Europe. Opus Anglicanum was famous for its artistry. The sophisticated embroideries were made with the finest linens and velvets and silk threads in a split-stitch technique. They utilized an underside couching technique to secure the decorative gold and silver threads.

Look at the beautiful paintings of the Virgin Mary and other saints and contemporary religious scenes from the medieval era; we found the gorgeous dresses were executed in flowing circles and geometric patterns.

Although in the Renaissance time, we find the typical court costume, often elaborately embroidered with floral designs. Queen Elizabeth I’s wardrobe collections show gowns embroidered with roses, oak leaves, and pomegranates.

During the same period, Islamic Egypt followed a pattern of embroidery stitched in monochrome on white or natural linen colour. Sometimes they worked in black, red, blue, and dark green and were often enriched with golden and silver threads. Geometric and scrolling patterns are implemented in the backstitch or a reversible stitch used for edgings of collars and cuffs that you can see from both sides.

Embroidery Makes Your Presence Elegant

The bright, vibrant and colourful embroidered garments bring the moment joy to people around the world. From Small handkerchiefs to curtains, to bedspreads to wedding gowns and designer dresses, the fashion scenes across the globe have constantly been embellished with embroidery designs.

The design of embroidery and day to day usage has a deep-rooted connection with the culture, traditions in a particular geographic region. Men’s designer garments also have the presence of embroidery, especially in Persian and Indian subcontinent culture.

Embroidery - The Modern Hot Couture

Due to its gorgeous presence, fan followings, decorative values and ability to connect with local culture, we find that hand embroidery always found a place in the global hot couture fashion circuit.

The leading embroidery houses, employing highly talented designers and technicians, became integral to the couture industry. The most renowned one of these was the House of Lesage. World-famous designers, the likes of Charles Frederick Worth, designer of the Empress Eugenie’s court clothing and Jeane Lanvin were the pioneers of incorporating the designs and patterns in the couture community.

Designers like Mary McFadden and Zandra Rhodes have adopted embroidery, particularly interested in premium artistic effects. When combined with other techniques such as stencilling, batik, quilting, or hand painting, embroidery draws attention to the fabric as a rich surface. Designer like Dior was a master of this illusionary approach to embroidery, which ignores seamlines and construction, creating its own field of vision.

Embroidery Types

Embroidery in modern times is not restricted to wedding gowns, designer dresses accessories and interior home items instead we have a lot of out of the box application that includes names and logo designs of the organizations, clubs, companies to name a few. There are five different (machine and customized)embroidery techniques widely used: counted thread embroidery, whitework technique, candle wicking embroidery, and shadow work embroidery.

Counted Thread Embroidery

We count thread in fabric for every stitch, and you generate symmetrical stitches. Cross stitch is a brilliant example of the most common counted thread embroideries. We work on design outlines with different stitches like chain stitch, back stitch, stem stitch, and shape stitch. We stitch by overlapping the back stitches and form a new pattern.

Whitework Embroidery

Popular as French Laid work. It encompasses different types of embroidery techniques such as the Broderie Anglaise, shadow work etc. We typically apply the method on white fabric with white floss.

Candle wicking Embroidery

We use an unbleached heavy cotton thread on the unbeached muslin as an alternative to the whitework embroidery technique. We use the Candlewicking technique by using “colonial knot”, which is done on the design line.

Patchwork Embroidery

We assemble the small pieces of fabric on another fabric base and arrange them as per the aesthetics. We use machine or hand stitches in this technique and are extensively used for gift decorations.

Shadow Work Embroidery

We apply the herringbone stitch technique for the semitransparent or transparent fabrics. You can see shadow work visible on the face of the material in an attractive manner. It works well on every lightweight fabric such as georgette, voile, lawn, organza, organdie, batiste, muslin and many more.

Fish Scale Embroidery

We typically use a scale of fishes like goldfish to make the embroidery designs and mostly on velvet. We create the fish scale first, and then we develop holes at the base of each scale, followed by the stitching on the fabric.