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Beautiful Crewel Embroidery Kits

Updated on June 23, 2014

Old-Fashioned Crewel Work

My mother embroidered this pretty cat decades ago, but has never been able to find another kit that she likes as well. So I looked for some new crewel embroidery kits that have the delicate, textured style that she favors.

Crewel work uses fine wool or acrylic yarn for a thick, soft texture. These kits combine crewel with smooth embroidery floss in fine cotton to give a feeling of depth and contrast. You can substitute silk floss for the cotton, if you want an even more luxurious feel.

We used to be able to buy elaborate kits like these in local craft stores, but the small stores have disappeared and the chains carry mostly cross stitch - which is fine if you like it, but embroiderers have a hard time! Luckily, the internet gives us a chance to find pretty kits again. They're ideal gifts for anyone who loves crafting and handwork.

[Photo by Valerie Proctor Davis. Embroidery by Charlotte R. Proctor]

Lilacs and Lace

Dimensions Needlecrafts Crewel, Lilacs And Lace
Dimensions Needlecrafts Crewel, Lilacs And Lace

A luscious still life printed on black cloth, embroidered with wool and cotton threads. Wow, look at all the layers! Flowers in shades of purple and white, stems inside a glass vase, smooth patterned porcelain...and finally, a lace tablecloth rendered with embroidery stitches. How clever!

The black background makes the colors pop, and at 12 by 16 inches it will be a good-sized framed picture.


Hollyhocks and Hummingbird

Dimensions Needlecrafts Crewel, Hollyhocks in Bloom
Dimensions Needlecrafts Crewel, Hollyhocks in Bloom

Here's a delightful image - the background is printed slightly out of focus. You embroider only the hummingbird and the foreground flowers, so the finished picture gives the effect of a tightly focused nature photo.

Smooth cotton thread contrasts with wool and acrylic yarns to give even more depth and texture. Finished size is 11 inches by 16 inches.


Porcelain and Blossoms

Dimensions Needlecrafts Crewel, Oriental Splendor
Dimensions Needlecrafts Crewel, Oriental Splendor

A beautiful embroidered composition of Asian design elements lavishly arranged to suit Western tastes. The printed background blends smoothly with the embroidered foreground to make a striking whole.

This large 20 inch by 14 inch picture uses gold metallic thread to accent the wool and acrylic yarns and cotton embroidery threads.


Rooster and Flowers

Dimensions Needlecrafts Crewel, Rooster On Black
Dimensions Needlecrafts Crewel, Rooster On Black

A bold, colorful rooster struts among bright flowers. The stylized design gives a country primitive look, and the black background shows off the vibrant colors.

Finished size is 11 inches by 14 inches; composed of bright cotton threads and wool yarns.


Embroidery Inspiration

Learn new techniques and refresh your memory of the standard stitches.

Mary Thomas's Dictionary of Embroidery Stitches
Mary Thomas's Dictionary of Embroidery Stitches

More than 400 embroidery stitches described, 100 of them new in this edition!

F.A.Edmunds Stitcher's Wonder 9x24"Frame w/Stand
F.A.Edmunds Stitcher's Wonder 9x24"Frame w/Stand

Convenient floor stand scrolls your large stitchery projects, so you can stretch each section taut as you come to it.


Siamese Cat

Here's the complete Siamese Cat picture. The cat and the flowers are wool crewelwork, while the vase and fan are in smooth embroidery floss. Notice the cat's eye - it's also in floss, to give a hint of contrasting shine.

Unfortunately, this pattern went out of print long ago. But there are a lot of other lovely kits for you to enjoy!

Find More Embroidery Kits

Still looking for an enticing craft project? Search here for more lovely kits.

Do You Embroider?

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    • cmoneyspinner1tf profile image

      Treathyl FOX 

      3 years ago from Austin, Texas

      Awesome! Posted this to the My Shopping Channel community on Google Plus. For my cat lover family and friends. ≧◉ᴥ◉≦

    • profile image


      5 years ago

      I have and though it's a very long and tedious process, the end result is well worth it. :)

    • profile image


      5 years ago

      I don't, but I have tried and I really appreciate the work that goes into it.


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