Embroidery | Ancestral art which requires patience & precision



In this article, we compiled all the notions you need to know about embroidery. Get to know about this art at www.miskshops.com. Also, you can purchase it for a fair price.


The art of decorating a fabric with stitches to enrich or add to its elegance is embroidery. Over the ages, embroiderers have experimented and improved the techniques. They took inspiration from their entourage or from the art of other times and cultures.

People used embroidery for several reasons. Such as, celebrating occasions, sharing different types of used ideas, indicating social status, telling tales, or enjoying the beauty of this world.


The diverse forms of embroidery have always existed since the creation of fabric. People practice it all over the world nowadays. But one assumes that it made its first appearance in China and the Middle East.

The word of this art comes from the French word “Broderie”, which means embellishment.

In Sweden, the oldest embroidery findings are from the 9th and 10th centuries, coinciding with the Viking Age period. Two centuries later, in 1000, the development spread throughout Europe. It is at that time that the Christian church started to expand and royalty obtained dominance across the continent. They created Richly decorated garments and ornaments in the form of pictures and tablecloths, to display their strength and wealth.

Bayeux tapestry is a medieval embroidery portraying the Norman Conquest of England in 1066. It is an exceptional chef-d’oeuvre and a significant source of history for the 11th century. Noblewomen embroidered this masterpiece in 1076, and it measures 70 m x 50 cm.

It was significant in the medieval Islamic world because it was a symbol of high social status in Muslim societies. In cities such as Damascus, Istanbul, and Cairo, one could find embroidery on items such as handkerchiefs, flags, uniforms, robes, horse trappings, pouches, and covers.

Around the year 1900, it has spread from being preserved only for the upper class to becoming the pastime and the most preferred occupation of women of all social backgrounds.

Primarily women are the ones who practiced embroidery, but this did not stop men from practicing and enjoying it. Actor Henry Fonda revealed in an interview that embroidering was his favorite hobby. Gustaf V. Former king of Sweden was an embroiderer as well.


Embroidery flower


When we talk about different styles of embroidery, what makes the style unique is the traditional motifs or the stitches themselves. The thing that makes the crewel type unique from the rest of the styles is the materials used. Particularly the wool threads or yarns. True crewel embroidery uses a 2-ply wood thread that they call crewel, from which comes the name of the embroidery.

This type dates back to medieval times, if not earlier. The oldest and most famous piece of crewel is the Bayeux Tapestry, which is nearly one thousand years old. Norman noblewomen made it in England and gave it to France.

During the 16th and 17th centuries, crewel’s popularity increased in Jacobean England. Because of that, the traditional crewel often shows that era’s most common motifs. Jacobean embroidery is, in fact, a style in itself, but it’s usually crewelwork.

In the 1970s, this embroidery style made a massive return. The pieces of this era featured bold colors and giant flowers and fun phrases.

Cross stitch:

It is common knowledge that cross-stitch embroidery has been existing since the Middle Ages. It is making a huge appearance in the current crafting field. It’s used to decorate household items such as tablecloths. This technique of hand embroidery is now widely found as framed art, often with funky messages or motifs.

Cross-stitch is a type of counted thread embroidery that has been around for centuries. It is one of the easiest forms of hand embroidery to learn. Cross-stitch comprises X-shaped stitches done on fabric with an even and open weaves like Aida or linen. Designs may vary from traditional to modern or anywhere in between.


It is also called Huck weaving or Swedish weaving. It is a style of embroidery that combines a bit of weaving with surface embroidery. The name of this type comes from the cloth which serves for this style. The huck type originated in Sweden, as its other name suggests. It is commonly made on tablecloths and towels.

Huck embroidery styles vary greatly, from basic bands to words or motifs, to big complex designs. But once you learn to follow a pattern or chart, the process becomes quite easy.

Punch needle:

Punch needle is a type of embroidery that is somehow like rug hooking. Although this technique dates back thousands of years, it has remained popular and varies from primitive to modern. There are so many patterns to choose from. Instead of stitching through the fabric, the punch needle pushes thread or yarn into the fabric, while keeping the needle on the surface.

The result of punch needle embroidering is a finely textured pattern made of loops that shows off its relation to rug making. Like every type of art, to get the best results, punch needle embroidery requires some practice. But it goes easily after discovering the correct motions and pace.


Blackwork, or what they call Spanish work, is a style of counted thread embroidery, believed to have appeared in Spain. Catherine of Aragon, the daughter of Ferdinand and Isabella of Spain, took it to England when she married Prince Arthur, the eldest son of King Henry VII.

Recent research has shown that the original place from which this type originated in North Africa, specifically Morocco.

Blackwork type, usually worked in black thread, stitched onto linen or cotton fabric. But nowadays, it is also worked in several or other single colors.


Stumpwork is a three-dimensional embroidery technique utilizing padding and wire. It first appeared in England in the mid-1600s. This style uses attached, pre-stitched pieces of embroidery, raised stitches, and even stuffed areas to create beautiful and realistic floral designs as well as scenic pictures that sometimes include animals, people in sophisticated clothing, and even buildings.

In stumpwork, the stitches used differ from plain line stitches to intricate filling stitches and lace stitches. For stumpwork, practically any kind of fabric is suitable. Commonly used threads are wool, cotton, and silk.


People may still practice embroidery either by hand or by sewing machine. As opposed to digital printing and other printing processes, this technique is very cheap and durable. Each embroidered project will represent your style with the great combos of cloth, stitches, and thread.

Images source:

Cover: Photo by Netelin B on Unsplash

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