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A decorative topstitching; an embellishment of a fabric or garment in which colored threads are sewn on to the fabric which creates a design. Embroidery may be done by either hand or machine.

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  • Hbnny_1337870658_600_large

    Nov 27, 2012, 04.17 PMby beim-zahnersatz-sparen

    hmmm I wish I could make this one with my hands :(

  • Missing

    Nov 23, 2011, 02.26 AMby pennagal

    Hand embroidery is one of my favorite things to do, I could give you a wide range of terms, some less obscure than others, that might be of use to some folks. Types of embroidery

    Embroidery is classified according to two characteristics of the finished work (1) whether the decorative stitching completely covers the foundation fabric or merely adorns the surface or (2) the relation of the decorative stitch to fabric with regard to the direction of the weave and include free and counted stitchery.

    The basic stitches include basic techniques or stitches of the earliest work—chain stitch, buttonhole or blanket stitch, running stitch, satin stitch and cross stitch. Other techniques include couching and laid work most often employed to make economical use of use of expensive threads.

    Surface Decoration—Thread is used to decorate the foundation fabric leaving the fabric visible.

    Crewel or surface embroidery. Crewel embroidery is worked with wool yarns using a wide range of distinctive stitches that adorn the foundation fabric without regard to the direction of the weave. Surface embroidery usually refers to the same techniques done using silk or cotton floss. (Surface, Freestyle)

    Counted cross stitch. The basic stitch involves drawing a thread diagonally across a predetermined number of threads on a evenly-woven fabric, such as Aida cloth. Horizontal and vertical stitches are also used to create a pattern. Assisi embroidery is a type of counted cross stitch. (Surface, Counted)

    Candlewicking. Unbleached soft-spun cotton thread of the type used for candle wicks in colonial times is used to decorate the surface of unbleached muslin using a variety of traditional embroidery stitches as well as a tufted stitch. Nature motifs such as flowers and insects are common as are traditional Pennsylvania Dutch or Colonial American designs.

    Broidery Perse. Designs, often floral, are cut from printed fabrics such as chintz and appliqued onto a plain background and then the entire design is worked with tiny stitches matching the colors in the fabric as closely as possible to produce the effect that the design has been “drawn” with needlework on the foundation fabric.

    Broderie Anglais. Opus Anglicanum (English work) is a modern designation for guild embroidery on ecclesiastical and royal vestments and hangings. Silk and gold or silver-gilt threads were applied to linen or velvet using couching, split stitch, and gold-would thread as well as pearls and jewels. (Surface, Freestyle)

    Padded or raised embroidery. Wool yarn or floss is worked in satin stitch to covers layers of cloth or cotton wool raising the design significantly above the fabric surface. A related style of embroidery called stumpwork sometimes uses wire foundation to produce free-standing ornaments that can then be applied to garments for decoration. (Surface. Freestyle)

    Black work. This type of needlework falls into both counted and free style embroidery. The most common is counted-thread embroidery in twisted silk thread on an even-weave fabric, classically white or off-white linen. It is distinguished by the use of the Holbein stitch which produces a straight black line on both sides of the fabric. Another style of black work also uses crewel stitches to decorate white fabric. (Surface, Freestyle and Counted)

    Scarlet work. Also called red work, it only differs from black work only in color. (Surface, Freestyle and Counted)

    Delft work. Delftwork employs a simple outline stitch in blue to depict Dutch scenes on household linens such as tea towels. (Surface, Freestyle and Counted)

    Canvas Work—Thread is worked through the foundation fabric so densely that it is obscured.

    Berlin Wool Work. Although similar to needlepoint in materials, the surface canvas is painted with the image to be embroidered allowing a wider range of stitches to be used but the entire surface is covered with yarn. (Canvas, Freestyle)

    Needlepoint. Stitches are worked across a canvas foundation to completely cover the foundation. Modern “canvas” includes plastic grids. Various types of needlepoint distinguished by patterns and materials include Bargello (also called Florentine Work or Hungarian Point), Petit Point and Trianglepoint. (Canvas, Counted)

    Drawn or pulled thread work

    Hardanger. This type of whitework carries the name of the district of Norway where it originated. It is worked on Hardanger or linen fabric with 22 to 29 threads per inch using satin stitch. Some warp or weft threads may be removed. In Norway, you will find decorating women’s aprons as part of their traditional ethnic costume. It combines both counted and free-style white on white embroidery. (Surface, Freestyle, Counted)

    Hemstitching. The most basic kind of drawn thread work involves removing warp or weft threads and needleweaving (darning) to gather the remaining threads together creating patterns of light against dark openings in the drawn-thread cloth. It is most often used to create decorative borders for clothing or household linens. (Surface, Counted)

    Reticello. Also called Point Coupé this lace is made using fine silk to make buttonhole stitches over a linen ground from which warp and weft threads have been removed. The buttonhole stitch is used to consolidate the remaining threads to create a grid over which a more elaborate pattern may be embroidered freestyle. (Surface, Counted, Freestyle)

    Cutwork. This style of embroidery produces a pattern of decoration by actually cutting shapes from the foundation fabric and overcasting the raw edges of the fabric with buttonhole stitch. Styles of cutwork include Richelieu lace and Ukrainian vyrizuvannya.

    Other kinds of embroidery

    Other types of fabric decoration, sometimes classified as embroidery, that do not fit neatly into the categories above include beading, darning, smocking, fine hand sewing and quilting. Some designations for embroidery such as Jacobean, Chikan or Suzani refer to a particular historical period or place of origin but the techniques and materials used to produce them fall into the more general categories above.


    Embroiderers Guild of America http://www.egausa.org/

    Stitch Diagrams for Embroidery http://www.embroiderersguild.com/stitch/stitches/index.html

    Ann Wilmer

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