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Learn To Embroider: It's Easy & Fun!

Updated on March 20, 2011

Embroider Is A Time Honored Art Form

To embroider is to craft or decorate material or fabric with yarn or thread by using a needle. The Embroider art also incorporates other appliques such as sequins, quills, beads, pearls and metal strips.

The primary and most basic techniques of the embroider artisan include cross stitch, satin stitch, running stitch, blanket or buttonhole stitch and chain stitch.

You Can Use A Computer To Embroider

Machine use for embroidery started during the beginning stages of the Industrial Revolution. A machine imitates the technique of hand embroidery with the use of chain stitches or the satin stitch but is identifiable by its construction.

You can embroider almost any logo, image, or wording!
You can embroider almost any logo, image, or wording!

The exact origins of emroidery or not known, but some examples survived through the Zhou Dynasty of China, the Iron Age of Northern Europe and from ancient Egypt. Surviving examples of Chinese chain stitched embroidery of silk threads have been traced to the period of the Warring States.

The advancement of sewing techniques was fostered by processes used to reinforce, mend, patch and tailor cloth.

Basic embroidery stitches have been noted for their outstanding stability. When the advancements of embroidery are examined there is found to be no significant changes in the use of techniques or materials from earlier periods to present day. Although, earlier times showed embroidered work with a high standard and technical accomplishment that was rarely attained in later periods.

Classes of embroidery can be identified by the placement of stitches on the material, whether the pattern is stitched through or on top of the fabric.

Free embroidery is when the design is applied with no regard to weave of the material used. Some of examples of this include crewel and traditional Japanese or Chinese embroidery.

A counted thread embroidery pattern is created by making stitches over predetermined quantity of threads in the fabric. This form of embroidery is easier to work on even weave fabrics such as woven cotton, linen, embroidery canvas and aida cloth, though non-even weave linen may also be used.

Examples of this include some forms of black work embroidery and needle point.

You can embroider in any font that exists!
You can embroider in any font that exists!

A Fine Work Of Embroider Art Can Be A Family Heirloom

Embroidery software uses embroidery thread manipulated by a computer to produce machine embroidery designs that are attractive and can't be distinguished from the hand sewn kind!

Hand embroidery is one of the most attractive and pleasing homecrafts, and there are many hand embroidery patterns available that capture the spirit of days long gone.

When you set out to embroider a fine piece of fabric, your custom embroidery will turn that mere cloth into a prized family heirloom as you hand-embroider your very identity onto it: The stitches you embroid today will likely be prized decades from now. That is why you should pay particular attention to your embroider designs to ensure that the final product is unique and beautiful.

There are also many styles of embroidery designs, with Brazilian embroidery being one of the most famous and attractive kinds. You can also try your hand at ribbon embroidery. If you want to get a head start on your new embroidery service you can choose from one of the many embroidery kits on the market.

Some embroider forms are truly works of art!
Some embroider forms are truly works of art!

Embroider Art Has A Long History

Drawn thread work, or cutwork, is when the fabric is cut away or deformed to make holes that can then be embellished with embroidery. Often, the thread color matches the fabric being embroidered. Needle lace originated from these techniques and is referred to as white work due to the use of white linen or white thread.

The yarns and fabrics used in embroidery vary by geographic location. Silk, linen and wool have been used for yarn and fabric for thousands of years. These days, embroidery threads are made from rayon, novelty yarns and cotton in addition to the traditional silk, linen and wool.

The use of narrow silk ribbon or a silk blend ribbon to create flower designs is known as ribbon embroidery.

Techniques that use chain stitch, laid-work or couching are known as surface embroidery and are the less expensive of luxurious yarns. Couching is typically used for gold work. Canvas work is when a large amount of yarn is buried on the back of the fabric. This uses more material but provides a more durable finished textile.

An Easy Embroidery Lesson

 Disclaimer: The information on this Hub page does not constitute medical, legal, commercial, product, and/or service advice or endorsement of any vendor, supplier and/or brand, and does not necessarily reflect the opinion of the author. Listing of an entity or service on this Hub page is not a warranty of the quality or efficacy of the products or services furnished by any entity. The author is not directly compensated by any entity other than the advertising placement services shown on this page.


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    • blastostitch profile image

      blastostitch 6 years ago

      Hi. I'm new to HubPages and landed here after searching articles related to Embroidery. Thanks for the great read! I will be sure to link back in my own future Hubs.

    • Hal Licino profile image

      Hal Licino 8 years ago from Toronto

      Go for it! :)

    • ethel smith profile image

      Eileen Kersey 8 years ago from Kingston-Upon-Hull

      This hub makes me want to sew again. Lovely

    • Hal Licino profile image

      Hal Licino 8 years ago from Toronto

      I've had a call into the FTC Commissioner for two weeks which of course hasn't been returned yet. I devised this simple disclaimer to keep me out of the weeds with the upcoming FTC legislation as pertains to bloggers. I expect to have to expand it once I can get an answer from the FTC. You're welcome to copy it, but keep an eye out as I'll be writing a Hub about the actual form of the proper disclaimer Hubbers should use ONCE THE &#$% FTC calls me back. :)

    • 2patricias profile image

      2patricias 8 years ago from Sussex by the Sea

      Tricia can embroider; Pat can't. We're both very busy though, and unlikely to be taking it up any time soon.

      Meanwhile, we are interested in the 'disclaimer' at the end of this Hub. Did you compose the wording yourself, or get it from somewhere else? I am wondering it if we should include it on some of our Hubs. Can you enlighten us a bit, please?