Crafts Articles

Different Embroidery Types: Which One is Yours?

by Robbie Darmona

Ever since the invention of needle and thread, man has started designing beautiful artwork by stitching on cloths. Embroidery, as it is called, is the way sheer sewing is transferred into something beautiful and creative. Decorative stitching reveals man's desire to embody the spiritual and unique part of his psyche into his daily work. Embroidery is thought to date back to 3000 BC. There are different embroidery types in different cultures.

Each one of them is unique as it represents the given culture's specificity. The ancient Egyptians for example used the so-called white embroidery. That is, namely, the stitching of white thread on white canvas.

The style is so sophisticated and the motifs so difficult that even the modern technologically- based embroidery machines can't reach the quality of the originals. The Chinese developed the famous two-sided embroidery- a stunning example of intricate art. The decoration is so refined that it takes years for the devoted embroiderer to accomplish.

In Western Europe another type of embroidery is famous: the crewel technique. It involves the stitching of woolen two-ply thread on a linen cloth, called twill. It is still used today for producing of many home decorations- counterpanes, different hangings and coverings.

Nowadays different cultures don't stick to their specific embroidery types, as people are provided with lots of information about embroidering over the world. Everyone can try everything, and different types of embroidery are a challenge to the advanced needle-artists. But two basic types have traveled across boundaries and become rulers of the needle world.

They are the famous cross-stitch and the well-known canvas work. Why they are so admired? Because they are easy to make. Cross-stitch is the type of embroidery every novice gets accustomed to in the beginning. It is done incredibly easy - by making a counted number of X-shaped stitches that form a picture when comprised together. Cross-stitch software makes things even easier showing many people the joy of embroidering.

The other type, canvas work, is a bit more complicated. There are different types of canvases- single thread, double thread, Aida cloth and Hardanger. Also there is a variety in the type of thread or yarn that you use- from plain knitting yarns to wool threads or pure silk ones. The main thing here is that the canvas should all be covered with decorations.

These two types of embroidery are just the most famous, of course many more exist and people admire them. It is a matter of personal choice which type to try. Culture can play a certain role here, as some types are inherent in some specific cultures, bearing their religious beliefs, spiritual inclinations and different attitudes towards the world. As you may have noticed, embroidery is not just needlework for bored housewives, it is a way of thinking and a form of art. And you should be very careful when choosing your own type because it may present you even more clearer that you wished it did.

For more information visit Embroidery & Needlework.

Article by Robbie Darmona