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Stumpwork Embroidery

Updated on September 19, 2014

Three-Dimensional Embroidery, Raised Embroidery, Freeform Stitching

Stumpwork embroidery is an advanced form of embroidery that produces raised, three-dimensional images with needle and embroidery thread. To me, some stumpwork pieces resemble three-dimensional (also known as 3-D) applique.

The craft of stumpwork is old, dating back to the 17th century. Many stumpwork pieces include flowers, fruit, people, and complete scenes shown through this intricate style of needlework. I think it looks similar to crewel work.

I found the stumpwork wall hanging pictured here at a thrift store years ago. The delicate needlework includes embroidered flowers, leaves and greenery, and French knots.

FYI: Stumpwork has nothing to do with old tree stump removal or political campaigning of any kind.

Photo Credit: Peggy Hazelwood

Stumpwork Embroidery Techniques

The following techniques can be used

in stumpwork embroidery:

~ Lace incorporated into the designs to

give more three-dimensional effects.

~ Needlework done on a separate piece

of fabric then applied to the

main canvas for more dimension.

~ Raised areas added using wire and/or

felt padding to make the images

pop off the canvas.

~ Top of the padded "image" then

covered in needlework.

Had You Heard of This Beautiful Needlework Before?

Had You Heard of This Beautiful Needlework Before?

See results

Stumpwork Embroidery - Books to Learn This Needlework Craft

These stumpwork embroidery books provide examples of projects you can make yourself. They also include instructions for learning how to do this 3-D needlework.

Learn stumpwork embroidery, the needlework that jumps off the canvas!

The book The Beginner's Guide to Stumpwork is a beginner's book to stumpwork embroidery and covers both the basic techniques and needle lace techniques. I love the nature theme to these projects. Just look at those mushrooms and birds!

Stumpwork Figurines - Make Portraits with Needlework

Making people in needlework isn't exactly new, but making them with stumpwork embroidery techniques will help these little guys pop right off the canvas!

Stumpwork Tutorials - Learn how to do stumpwork with these instructions

These instructions can get you started making your own stumpwork projects without having to buy a book.

Supplies for Stumpwork Embroidery ~ Floss, Needles, Fabric, Hoop, Patterns

Get started making your own stumpwork embroidery creations. The supplies you'll need are minimal, and you may already have some on hand.

The results of this raised embroidery needlework are fabulous! Make your own stumpwork piece to keep or to give.

Three-Dimensional Embroidery

Stumpwork includes both raised embroidery

and padded embroidery giving the final piece

a three-dimensional look.

This type of needlework lends itself well to designs that show off texture like the bark on a tree and leaves against a summer sky.

Affiliate Disclosure

This author, Peggy Hazelwood, participates in Amazon, eBay, All Posters, and other affiliate advertising programs. When you click an advertising link on this page and make a purchase, I receive a small percent of the sale. Thank you for reading this far!

Have You Heard of Stumpwork Embroidery? Will You Give It a Try?

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    • profile image


      5 years ago

      Gosh, I have been a fan of embroidery for many years, but don't believe I ever heard the terminology of "Stumpwork Embroidery" before. Looks lovely.

    • Scarlettohairy profile imageAUTHOR

      Peggy Hazelwood 

      5 years ago from Desert Southwest, U.S.A.

      @anonymous: You're welcome! I just love this stitching!

    • profile image


      5 years ago

      Thanks so much for listing my tutorials here! There are several more on my website.=)

    • TreasuresBrenda profile image

      Treasures By Brenda 

      6 years ago from Canada

      Thanks for the introduction to Stumpwork Embroidery. No, I'd never heard of it before.

    • earthybirthymum profile image


      6 years ago from Ontario, Canada

      More winter projects! Great Lense, many blessings.

    • writerkath profile image


      6 years ago

      First time I've heard of Stumpwork Embroidery! It does look lovely!

    • gottaloveit2 profile image


      6 years ago

      Very interesting although it would be even MORE interesting if it were done on a stump!

    • profile image


      6 years ago

      Looks beautiful! Thanks for sharing.

    • psiloveyou1 profile image


      6 years ago

      I have never heard of it, but it looks beautiful!

    • profile image


      6 years ago

      Wow, I guess you do learn something new everyday.

    • msalada lm profile image

      msalada lm 

      6 years ago

      This is a new one to me.

    • chas65 profile image


      6 years ago

      These remind me of the punched paper stitchings we have sold in our antique stores.

    • ismeedee profile image


      6 years ago

      No I haven't! My grandmother taught me some basic emroidery when I was little and I used to love doing that. But this is a remarkable technique!


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