Embroidery is a great way to decorate various fabrics and articles of clothing, and to turn simple designs into beautiful masterpieces.
In the earlier days, the process of embroidery made use of a needle, various-colored threads or yarn, and other materials such as beads, sequins, and other appliqués.
Embroidery is commonly used on dresses, gowns, denim, as well as hats, blankets, and coats.
It has been used even in the ancient times, and still remains to be an important step in creating magnificent designs that are considered fashionable for both men and women.
It is oftentimes considered a symbol of wealth in many traditionally rich countries like China and India.
Aside from applying various materials, embroidery is often characterized by the use of basic yet fundamental stitches which are still being used in hand embroidery today.
These include the running stitch, the blanket stitch, satin stitch, cross stich, chain stitch, and whip stitch, which may sometimes serve a dual purpose, one in strengthening seams, and two as a form of embroidery design.
A Brief History of Embroidery
Some of the earliest forms of embroidery can be traced back to China, some of which are dated during the fifth to third century BC.
Other countries known for creating hand-embroidered fabric and clothing included England, ancient Egypt, India, Persia, and Russia, with each country showing a distinct style and design as influenced by their respective cultures, richness in history, and traditions.
Various archaeological finds from different periods of history have also been uncovered showing evidence of ornately embellished articles of clothing, which showcased embroidery made from ivory beads from Russia, and silk threads, animal hides, shells, as well as pearls and precious stones from China.
Other proofs of the use of embroidery were found on ancient sculptures and paintings showing Greeks and the elaborate embroideries on their clothes.
During the 1100s onwards, many embroiderers started using smaller beads and pearls, and by the 1700s, embroidery spread to not just fabrics but in the decoration of other objects and home furnishings as well.
During the Victorian era, the rise of the machine age gave way to easier embroidering.
It was faster and more convenient compared to freehand stitching.
On the other hand, it also allowed women to make use of bead embroidery due to the popularity of new needlework stitches.
The industrial revolution also paved the way for other machines that allowed the invention of steel needles and smaller beads, as well as yarn and threads made from rayon.
This became the most common materials used for embroidery.
Embroidery at Present
Embroidery is still an important part in designing clothes at present.
It adds texture and creativity as well as a bit of dazzle and glamour to certain fabrics.
It is also a great measure of craftsmanship, as elaborate designs require much effort and expertise when it comes to crafting unique patterns and ornate embellishments.
Whether hand-stitching or using an embroidery machine, it can be possible to create pieces similar to those in the earlier eras.
Embroidery has been a well-preserved craft that still uses ancient techniques despite the modern tools and machines available.
With practice and proper knowledge, anyone can create their very own hand-embroidered masterpieces easily.
Preparing Your Materials
When designing clothes for embroidery, there are a number of factors to remember, as well as important materials to prepare.
First you must determine the purpose of the clothing you’d like to create, as well as its design.
Embroidered fabric or clothes may be used in special occasions or for everyday wear.
In choosing the proper cloth, first determine the embroidery design you’d like to create and note what kind of appliqués you will be using.
Make sure to use a strong cloth that will be able to withstand the stitching, the weight of your thread as well as your chosen embellishments.
It is advisable to use loosely woven cloths like muslin, cotton, or linen as these allow the ease of needle and various threads into the fabric.
Also make sure to use thread that is durable and easy-to-use like silk or rayon.
Embroideries may be created as patches and may be attached to articles of clothing later on.
If you’re planning on designing and creating something to wear then enhancing it with embroidery, the best fabrics to use are silk, wool, cotton, and linen.
These are wearable and breathable fabrics that can be easily incorporated into anyone’s wardrobe.
And since these are tightly-woven fabrics, they can withstand the stress of needles and various threads.
Just make sure to use an embroidery hoop to ensure the accuracy of stitches.
Decorating Your Clothes and Updating the Look
For more ornate creations, in gowns, especially evening wear, it is best to use bead embroidery.
It would also be advisable to hand-stitch rather than use a machine to ensure that the quality of work is exceptional.
Hand-stitching beads are an elaborate process that can allow designers full creativity.
Designers can also use a combination of hand-stitched designs and machine-embroidered designs to show variety and textures.
For everyday wear, embroidery may be used to decorate plain shirts, dresses, denim wear, and even accessories like bags and hats.
Designers can use simple stitches to create unique designs, and even add simple appliqués that are not too heavy.
It is also interesting to use various types and colors of threads to create varying textures.
Great threads to use include stranded cotton, perle cotton, and silk threads.
Embroidery is a great way to update a basic piece of clothing, and turn it into an interesting and fashionable work of art.
It is also a way to get crafty and to explore one’s artistic side.
There is a great deal of learning when it comes to designing and crafting clothes with embroidered designs.
Various techniques can be learned in stitching, transferring of designs, expressing creativity, and needlework.
Experts in the Field
Embroidery is an elaborate craft that requires patience and creativity.
To learn more about the art, there is a City and Guilds qualification that allows skilled embroiderers to teach professionally and to be recognized for their expertise.
Interested individuals may train under experts in embroidery to learn the best techniques and practices used in this ancient handicraft.