As times have passed there are many types of embroidery that can be rendered now. After the Industrial Revolution machine embroidery became possible and while it is not an exact replica in all ways of the hand made version is still remains a popular mode today, especially in the digitizing of images and allowing for quicker renderings. You'll see this type of embroidery used often today for monograms and logos on clothing and other apparel. It is also used to mimic the original complexity of hand embroidery in decorative household items.
While many people think of patches that may be applied to clothing as all that encompasses embroidery that couldn't be farther from the truth. Embroidery can be broken up into four groups:
- free embroidery includes Crewel, Chinese, and Japanese embroidery which are all done without regard to the weave of the fabric.
- counted-thread embroidery may sometimes get overlooked as embroidery by the general populace and because it is more commonly referred to by other names such as Cross Stitch, Needlepoint, or Black Work Embroidery. It usually involves using a specific amount of strands (1 to 6) from a thread and stitching into evenweave cloth (though non evenweave can be used as well).
- canvas work uses a fabric mesh that is densely covered in thread. Bargello fits into this category.
- drawn threadwork & cutwork involves white work (which is done with white thread and white fabric) and involves the cutting away of pieces of fabric whose edgings are then decorated in thread. You can see this as the precursor to needlelace.
When embroidering one can find a myriad amount of choices for threads including: wool, linen, silk, cotton, rayon, novelty yarns, and even ribbon. The type of fabric or mesh determines the type of needle you will use, and often an embroidery hoop is used to help keep the fabric taught while it is stitched.
So now you're more familiar with the art of embroidery I hope you can have the same appreciation for it that I do and maybe it will even inspire you to pick up some needle and thread!
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