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Different Types of Embroidery

Updated on May 21, 2015

Kinds Of Embroidery Designs

You can find different types of embroidery of which each one of them have their unique style when it comes to their stitches and designs. It depends on which style of design that you are interested, some will involve some hours of work because of the delicacy of the embellishment at hand. There are some of the decorative stitchery work that will require just few hours to complete because of the different arrangement of design effect that you will need to complete it.

You should know exactly what you want your stitchery work to look like and what you want to use the finished embellished work for. The kinds of embroidery that are popular and which you will usually find are: broderie anglaise, applique, canvas work, smocking, shadow embroidery, quilting, needle weaving, lettering, drawn thread work, couching, hedebo embroidery, hardanger embroidery, net embroidery, patchwork, trimmings, jacobean embroidery, darning, cut work, cross stitch, black work and many other foreign embroideries that are useful for so many designs.

Broderie Anglaise

Broderie Anglaise is a kind of embroidery that uses eyelet stitches to decorate dresses. Most times it looks much like lace because of the designs. You will usually find this decorative stitch arrangement on hems that are round, clothes with flounces, scarves, many handkerchiefs and others. You can achieve your desired style by stitching circles, ovals and small shapes which built up to look like the patterns of leaf or flower.


Applique is a method to use in embroidery of which you will need to use very little stitchery work to achieve your style. This is a very old style that have been around for some years. There are many types of applique. If you are interested applique craft, then you will need to know what they are and their uses. These are: inlaid, lace or net applique, blind, overlaid and blind applique.

Canvas Or Tapestry Work

This type of embroidery is found on very strong materials such as mats, cushions, any form of hangings and upholstery. Canvas work can be done by using either single or double stitch. The threads that are used for tapestry work are very strong, because of the kind of materials you are to work it on. You can use frame to cover the canvas, so that the canvas will not pull out of its shape.



You can work smocking by using stitches and pulling the thread to gather and form small but even pleats. The most suitable materials to use for smocking embroidery are soft fabrics which can gather easily. There are many stitches to use for smocking. These are diamond stitch, cable stitch, outline, wave stitch, vandyke, honeycomb and others.

Shadow Embroidery

You will have to work this type of embroidery on the wrong side of a transparent material. This will allow the color of the outlines to appear in strong color on the right side. You can work floral designs with stems using shadow embroidery.


There are three types of quilting. These are Shadow quilting, English and Italian quilting. You can use straight lines, oval, semi circles or diamonds to create the pattern for the quilting. You can make feather or flower shapes out of your quilting. To get a really lovely embroidery , you can make use of flat stitches to create straight lines to form squares, stripes or even diamonds as background work. You can use any type of fabrics. The most suitable are cottons, silks or shiny fabrics.


Needle Weaving Embroidery

Needle weaving is embellished work are found on borders. Embroidery silk or wool is used to weave the the part of which threads were pulled out. The main motifs are diamonds, squares or oblongs shapes.


You can use the stitches in several embellishment such as monograms, mottoes or initials. You will not have to follow any specific method in lettering. You can use any stitch. You can work the monogram on a banner.

Drawn Thread Work

You will find different designs under this embroidery type. The design is achieved by using loose threads over and across large spaces. You can weave and twist them into patterns. The drawn thread work includes overcast border, herringbone border, openwork ground, knotted border and many others.


This type of embroidery can be found in church decorations. The surface is made with threads of silver or gold including metals. You can use couching as a filling, in that case, it is called laid work.


Hedebo Embroidery

You will find that hedebo embroidery has a form of floral patterns which are covered with drawn and cut work, the outlines are in chain stitch. You can include these stitches on the surface, satin stitch, buttonhole stitch and french knots.

Hardanger Embroidery

In working with hardanger embroidery, the whole threads are covered mainly with overcast. The designs are usually geometric in shape. There are also different styles of this type of embroidery such as, picots, completing network and border stitches.

Net Embroidery

Net embroidery are designed in such a manner that it looks like a lace. The motifs used are floral with geometric patterns. You will need a frame to keep the work in order. You can use any kind of net such as hexagonal net for the background. A thicker thread is needed for the outlines. You can use a less thicker thread for the fillings or just a single thread.


Patchwork is more of a needlework than a stitchery or embroidery design. You can sew together pieces of fabrics to make decorative quilts, bags, cushion covers, jackets and other garments. There are so many patchworks such as, geometric, crazy patchwork, applique and patchwork and others.



You can neaten the edges of your finished clothes by using decorative trimmings. The types of trimmings that you can use in your embroidery work include cord twisted, fringes, cords looped finger, pompons, fringe bead, tassels and many more.

Jacobean Embroidery

You will find the motif for this kind of embroidery to be a tree. You can design birds, animals, landscapes, plants and many others. Make sure that the style is created around tree as the center. You can use many types of stitches to complete the project.


Darning is one of the useful stitches that you should know. The design is achieved by using a bold thread stitch on a plain background material. There are different types of darning such as, pattern darning, damask, irregular darning and others.

Cut Work

In the cut work embroidery, you will find that some part of the material background will be cut away to leave a lacy look. You will have to make the design in such a way that you connect all the motifs to each other, so that when you cut the necessary background away, you can get your required style.

Cross Stitch

You will find that cross stitch as it is used today are worked on household linens, bags, handkerchiefs, belts and others. What you should bear in mind when you are using cross stitch is that all the threads that cross each other must be on the same direction and the sizes must be equal.


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    • bizwin profile image

      Christabel Evans 4 years ago from England, UK

      Thank you mylindaelliott for your visit. Embroidery and cross stitch are great craft to practice. It's so unfortunate that you are unable to do it now, hopefully, there will be improvement soon.

    • mylindaelliott profile image

      mylindaelliott 4 years ago from Louisiana

      I used to love to embroidery and cross stitch. I don't do it so much any more since my eyes give me trouble.

    • bizwin profile image

      Christabel Evans 4 years ago from England, UK

      Yes, Kris there are still some more types of embroidery that I will list later on. It is nice to know about them and learning how to work with them.

    • Kris Heeter profile image

      Kris Heeter 4 years ago from Indiana

      I had not idea there were that many different types! I've done a few of these but this has definitely covered more than I could have imagined. Thanks for sharing this with us and I will pass this on to my followers...I know there are a few that will be interested in this!

    • bizwin profile image

      Christabel Evans 5 years ago from England, UK

      Thanks Bill, at least you have eyes for good stuff when you come across one. These are my passions and it's great when the hub is of help to someone.

    • billybuc profile image

      Bill Holland 5 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Well, Biz, this isn't for me, but I wanted to give you some support, so here I am. I'm sure anyone who knows about this stuff would say you did a nice job. :)