An Introduction to Some Common Types of Embroidery Styles

  • Jul 16, 2019

Embroidery is an old business and it has been operating as an industry for many years. Earlier, people would use the embroidery work to mend a cloth. Today, it is done as a form of embellishments on different types of clothes as well as the insignia on the uniforms of different organizations.

Generally, there are two forms of embroidery:

Appliqué: An appliqué work is a form of embroidery that is done on a cloth which is then affixed on a fabric. This cloth can be attached to a fabric for decoration or can be used on a uniform to denote the rank of the member of an organization, such as the custom patches on biker’s jackets. An appliqué is created by sewing the different pieces of a fabric in various patterns and colors.

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Direct Embroidery: As its name suggests, direct embroidery is any form of embroidery that is done directly on a fabric to create a design on a cloth or create the decorations on uniforms.

Both these forms of embroidery work are a result of different stitches that create a certain pattern of design. In this article, we will look into some of the most common types of embroideries that stitchers and embroiders use on a cloth:

 

Hardanger Embroidery

Named after a district of Norway, Hardanger is also known as whitework embroidery. This embroidery work is a traditional stitching method that has its roots from ancient Persia. It then grew into popularity in Europe during the 1700s. 

Between 17th and 19th century, it gained popularity in Norway where it was used on the traditional dress of Norway and other items of daily life, such as curtains, mats and bed sheets. Hardanger is commonly used on linen fabric to produce cutwork and geometric shapes. 

The stitching is usually done with a cream or white thread to create the satin stitch Kloster blocks which are used to create the lace work.

 

Blackwork Embroidery

Blackwork embroidery is also an old embroidery practice that was popular during the era of King Henry III. History tells us that this embroidery was brought to England from Spain. The Catherine of Aragon is instrumental in introducing this type of embroidery to the English people since many of her clothes were inspired from black embroidery of the Spanish stitchers.

Earlier, the stitchers used the weave fabric to create Blackwork embroidery. However, the stitchers today make use of even weave fabric to produce this type of embroidery.

The modern stitchers use the counted stitches to make different patterns and geometric shapes on a fabric. The white fabric and black threads are the highlights of this embroidery, though the stitchers also use other colors to sew Blackwork embroidery.

 

Hedebo embroidery

Hedebo embroidery is evolved from traditional stitching style of the Danish farmers who used this type of embroidery to decorate their domestic stuff, such as pillows and towels. 

It became a popular stitching method during the 19th century when the locals in the Copenhagen started selling their embroidery craft. From then on, it has remained a popular embroidery work for the professional and amateur stitchers. The modern Hedebo work is available in various styles and can be applied on any fabric.

 

Redwork Embroidery

Redwork embroidery is one of the most common types of embroidery that uses a red thread to stitch on a fabric. The fabric is usually white in color which accentuates the beauty of an embroidery work. Redwork embroidery became popular during 1800s since the red color was the only color known for its colorfastness. 

The outline stitches used in this type of embroidery are known as “Kensington Stictch” named after the Royal School of Needlework which is located in Kensington, London. Redwork embroidery is usually done on quilts and pillows.

 

Candlewick Embroidery

One of the most elegant types of embroidery, candlewick embroidery is also known as white-on-white embroidery since it uses a white thread on a white fabric. Commonly used for quiltmaking, candlewick embroidery applies colonial knots to create a design on a cloth.

This type of embroidery is usually done on the heavier fabric of cotton or linen with heavier thread which results in a beautiful design. The candlewick embroidery is done to create appliques, patches and it is done directly on the fabric of a clothing piece to make appealing decorations.

 

Sashiko Embroidery

Sashiko embroidery is a traditional embroidery work from Japan. This type of embroidery was used during the Edo era to mend the worn-out clothes and custom embroidered patches were used to hide the torn part of a garment.

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Sashiko embroidery uses running stitching technique to put together the torn parts of a piece of clothing. Today, it is a popular embroidery work that is used to decorate a garment and embellish a piece of fabric.

 

Surface Embroidery

Surface embroidery is another popular type of embroidery that is applied on different fabrics. In this type of embroidery, the stitches are done on the surface of a cloth. Unlike a canvas, the embroidery is not sewn through a fabric and is only done on the upper layer of a cloth.

Surface embroidery can be done on any type of fabric. Some of the common forms of surface embroidery include appliqué, cross stitch and crewel embroidery.

 

Crewel embroidery

Crewel embroidery is also one of the oldest embroidery methods that was used to create imageries on a fabric. The imageries can include animals, flowers, leaves and vines. It is used on the wool fabric to create beautiful and fancy imageries on an applique. This type of embroidery uses chain stitching to produce a design on a cloth. 

Crewel embroidery is often used on cushions and curtains and it is also one of the most popular embroidery methods to decorate a garment.

 

Cross Stitch

Cross stitch is one of the oldest stitching methods. The use of this method can be traced back to the middle ages. This type of embroidery uses a specific pattern of stitch that makes an “X-shaped” embroidery. Cross stitch is popular for its elegant design and it can beautify any cloth with the right blend of colors.

These are some of the most common types of embroidery and a brief history of their evolution. Use them in your daily embroidery job to create fancy embroidery designs.

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