Embroidery is the craft of decorating fabric or other materials using a needle to apply thread or yarn.

Embroidery may also incorporate other materials such as pearls, beads, quills, and sequins. In modern days, embroidery is usually seen on caps, hats, coats, blankets, dress shirts, denim, dresses, stockings, and golf shirts. Embroidery is available with a wide variety of thread or yarn color.

Some of the basic techniques or stitches of the earliest embroidery are chain stitch, buttonhole or blanket stitch, running stitch, satin stitch, cross stitch. Those stitches remain the fundamental techniques of hand embroidery today.


Ancient Age
There are no embroidery that can be attributed to the Old Age with certainty, except for some Coptic fabrics from the Roman era, but there is no doubt that there were excellent embroideries in Asia, Egypt, Greece and Rome as verified by true historians and revealed by numerous reliefs and paintings of those times. The invention and the first development of this art must be attributed to the Babylonians because from Mesopotamia came the most famous embroideries in the Ancient Age as well as from Egypt the fine weavings and the high hedges upholstery getting to say Pliny that the Egyptian loom had defeated the needle Babylon.

The Old Testament refers to the active trade that the Phoenician businessmen carried out with wools, silks and oriental embroidery and repeatedly tells us about the embroideries that they had to wear and that actually they wore the curtains of the Tabernacle and the veils of the temple. Even the tissues and embroidery in gold that undoubtedly existed in the days of David and Solomon (seven or eight centuries before they could be invented by King Attalus of Pergamum) are mentioned, when he mentions the golden garments and the golden fimbrias of the main queen

Middle Ages
The Byzantine civilization occupies the first place in the history of embroidery during the Middle Ages and the Crusades were the main vehicle of this art for the whole West. Here he barely exercised in the High Middle Ages outside perhaps the monasteries among which the one of Saint Gall in Switzerland is mentioned as very active and industrious.

The reasons given in the embroidery in the Middle Ages are usually the same as the stews, originally taken from the Persians. Later they mix with other Christians and they immediately triumph since the 12th century. In the thirteenth century, as a result of the chivalric current produced by the Crusades, embroideries and other cavalry motifs began to be embroidered on the luxurious pieces and the composition became more ornate, complicated and better colored, increasing the variety of colors in the 14th century. the silks. Embroidery of different kinds of points is used throughout the Middle Ages: the past, the cross and the chain. But the latter is disappearing towards the end of the fourteenth century when the flat point prevails. Gold or silver embroiderythat with wool were the most common until the thirteenth century follow the technique of the genre called plano. From the mentioned century, the golden thread is mixed with the silk thread, which is gaining ground on the others in the future. The use of the sequins in the embroidery seems to be of Arab invention but already in the 14th century it is among the works of the Christians. And since the 15th century it has become a great consumer, especially in Spain.

The embroidery to enhancement begins in the thirteenth century and becomes very common in the second half of the fifteenth, which takes the character of high relief. The real needlework with completely embroidered figures and with shadows and degradation of inks, imitating the painted canvases, does not begin until the fifteenth century, from whose half the process of nuanced gold was tried in Italy, which soon became common in Flanders and generalized in Spain during the sixteenth century. In this last century appears the embroidery to canutillo that continues until today very in use.

Among the works that stand out for their perfection and historical celebrity are:

Byzantine art, the dalmática call of Charlemagne or of Leo III (twelfth century and according to others, the XIV) filled with representative figures of Jesus Christ and the glory that is kept in St. Peter’s Basilica and embroidery of Halberstadt Cathedral (Westphalia) from the looting of Constantinople in 1204

Western art and Romanesque style, the famous embroidered tapestries of Bayeux and the Tapestry of the Creation of Gerona and a rich planet that belonged to the king San Esteban (11th century) which has served as a cloak for the coronation of the kings of Hungary and is preserved in Budapest

Arab or Mudejar art, the cap of the Infante Don Felipe (13th century) embroidered with eagles, castles and lacerías that is kept by the National Archaeological Museum of Spain

French Gothic art, a frontal with twelve paintings of the Life of Jesus Christ, in Toulouse and a triptych in the cathedral of Chartres (14th century)

English embroidery (opus anglicanum), a layer that is in the Spanish National Museum, another one in the Kensington Museum in London and another incomplete in the Vic Museum, from the 14th century

German Gothic art, the front of Salzburg (14th century) and the stole and maniple of Alberto Magno (13th century) in the church of San Andrés de Colonia

Flamenco art, the cape and the suit of the Order of the Golden Fleece that is kept in the Court Museum in Vienna and has beautiful figures of paint on the needle (XV century) as well as two frontals in the Cathedral of Valencia

of Florentine art, the rich front of the main church of Manresa (15th century), embroidered in colored silks on fine canvas with figures of the Life and Passion of Jesus Christ in 19 paintings

Modern Age
The embroidery of the Modern Age is distinguished by following in its figures the style of the Renaissance in the same way as other sumptuary arts and also because it is used again with profusion the golden thread (or canutillo) which was applied with parsimony in recent years from middle Ages. In the sacred ornaments disappears the imagery that in the mentioned centuries used to be applied in the central and vertical part of the chasublesand in the shield of the back and front bands of the layers and only by exception will be found in pieces of the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries. On the other hand, the whole piece is very frequently covered with purely ornamental embroidery in the case of sacred vestments, something rare in the centuries before the sixteenth century. And in such a way the ornaments that some become really unbearable are recharged from metals and baroque reliefs. A chasuble with its accessory pieces guards the cathedral of Cologne made in 1740 that although being of small dimensions weigh no less than 13 kilos.

Among the embroidery for civilian garments are those that adorn the casacones and silk vests that were very much in vogue according to French fashion during the 18th century for gentlemen of social standing. The cuffs and other edges of the garments looked like ornaments embroidered with fine branches and delicate florets made with silks of various colors. The embroidery declined notably at the end of the 18th century. It is replaced by the machine-made one that entered the 19th century. However, something emerges in the middle of the century.

Islamic Embroidery
Embroidery was an important art in the Medieval Islamic world. The 17th-century Turkish traveler Evliya Çelebi called it the “craft of the two hands”. Because embroidery was a sign of high social status in Muslim societies, it became widely popular. In cities such as Damascus, Cairo and Istanbul, embroidery was visible on handkerchiefs, uniforms, flags, calligraphy, shoes, robes, tunics, horse trappings, slippers, sheaths, pouches, covers, and even on leather belts. Craftsmen embroidered items with gold and silver thread. Embroidery cottage industries, some employing over 800 people, grew to supply these items.

In the 16th century, in the reign of the Mughal Emperor Akbar, his chronicler Abu al-Fazl ibn Mubarak wrote in the famous Ain-i-Akbari: “His majesty (Akbar) pays much attention to various stuffs; hence Irani, Ottoman, and Mongolian articles of wear are in much abundance especially textiles embroidered in the patterns of Nakshi, Saadi, Chikhan, Ari, Zardozi, Wastli, Gota and Kohra. The imperial workshops in the towns of Lahore, Agra, Fatehpur and Ahmedabad turn out many masterpieces of workmanship in fabrics, and the figures and patterns, knots and variety of fashions which now prevail astonish even the most experienced travelers. Taste for fine material has since become general, and the drapery of embroidered fabrics used at feasts surpasses every description.”

The development of machine embroidery and its mass production came about in stages in the Industrial Revolution. The first embroidery machine was the Hand-Embroidery Machine, invented in France in 1832 by Josué Heilmann. The machine used a combination of machine looms and teams of women embroidering the textiles by hand. The manufacture of machine-made embroideries in St. Gallen in eastern Switzerland flourished in the latter half of the 19th century.

Embroidery can be classified according to what degree the design takes into account the nature of the base material and by the relationship of stitch placement to the fabric. The main categories are free or surface embroidery, counted embroidery, and needlepoint or canvas work.

In free or surface embroidery, designs are applied without regard to the weave of the underlying fabric. Examples include crewel and traditional Chinese and Japanese embroidery.

Counted-thread embroidery patterns are created by making stitches over a predetermined number of threads in the foundation fabric. Counted-thread embroidery is more easily worked on an even-weave foundation fabric such as embroidery canvas, aida cloth, or specially woven cotton and linen fabrics. Examples include cross-stitch and some forms of blackwork embroidery.

While similar to counted thread in regards to technique, in canvas work or needlepoint, threads are stitched through a fabric mesh to create a dense pattern that completely covers the foundation fabric. Examples of canvas work include bargello and Berlin wool work.

Embroidery can also be classified by the similarity of appearance. In drawn thread work and cutwork, the foundation fabric is deformed or cut away to create holes that are then embellished with embroidery, often with thread in the same color as the foundation fabric. When created with white thread on white linen or cotton, this work is collectively referred to as whitework. However, whitework can either be counted or free. Hardanger embroidery is a counted embroidery and the designs are often geometric. Conversely, styles such as Broderie anglaise are similar to free embroidery, with floral or abstract designs that are not dependent on the weave of the fabric.

By the relief
There are three classes:

smooth, that barely protrude from the piece.
of enhancement, which offer a lot of relief due to a filling of cardboard or raw cotton (or of tow with wax, in the Middle Ages) that gets in the way.
of application or superimposed, which is embroidered outside the piece and subsequently stitched on it. Some embroidery stitches are used almost exclusively to apply lace or fancy fabrics on a base fabric. The most used are the Paris point, the Turkish point and the cord point, which are characterized by their tight and compact stitches, perfect to keep the applied pieces in place and to prevent the edges of the fabric from fraying.

By the material
For the matter of which they are made, besides the common ones of gold, silk, they are distinguished especially:

the white embroidery, which is made with white thread in pieces of table linen.
the embroidery to comb, which is achieved by applying the gold or silver thread not of the common form of yarn to weave or sew but curled or in helix, forming a flexible tube, through whose axis the silk thread is passed with they hold the parts of it to the fabric.
the embroidery of pearls, sequins, beads, etc. that results from applying small strings of these objects with silk thread or one by one to the piece that is embroidered.
the flat embroidery that is executed applying the threads or metallic strips on the fabric without entering or leaving it as a sewing but holding them with silk stitches (point couché for the French) conveniently given.
This is how the embroidery of cord (silk or gold in the form of a cord) is applied, and what is called a thread laying, in which the thread or the cord goes around the fabric without any interruption and every turn it is held as it has been said.
The gold embroidery uses gold strands (or to a lesser extent, silver). Gold embroidery is usually done on cloth, velvet or silk.
The embroidery of nuanced gold, is a variant of the flat embroidery that has for object to cover to sections with silks of colors the thread or golden cord (subject by its ends to the fabric) to give it more showiness and variety. For having adopted this procedure in the work of El Escorial during the time of Felipe II is called El Escorial point.

By the shape
By the shape of the embroidered work, the following classes are known:

The contour embroidery, when only the contours and main internal lines of the figure are marked.
The embroidery isolated when to the above is added the seeding of stitches and embroidered streaks the field of the fabric where the figures are.
The embroidery is full when the whole drawing of the figures is completely embroidered.

By the point
Depending on the sewing point that is used in embroidery, the types that exist are almost infinite. Therefore, only the most famous and curious are cited below:

Vainica or Vanilla, important technique of thetraditional trimmings for which threads are extracted and then finished to form precious drafts. This is the embroidery on unraveled, the base is the simple point of hemming, which groups a certain number of threads called column or beam, on which different points are made. The fabric has to be prepared with a suitable unraveling, first extracting the lateral threads and then the central threads; the sides of the unraveling are subsequently finished with a cord.

Yugoslav embroidery, well known for its ease and for its good presence.

Cross stitch, which consists of forming crosses through the counted threads of a fabric. It has variants. It is perhaps one of the most popular spots and, in addition to being very easy to work with, it allows you to achieve results of great beauty. It can be done horizontally, vertically and diagonally. To obtain a uniform effect it is important that the oblique points always follow the same direction. Complete the work the linear point, which outlines the embroidery. Cross-stitch embroidery is done on canvas whenever you want to embroider fabrics that do not allow to count the threads, such as velvet, feltor the point. It is a special fabric with the weft and warp visible, which is woven on the fabric that is thought to embroider. Then the motif is made cross stitch. Once the embroidery is finished, the vertical and horizontal threads that form the canvas are removed underneath it, so that the embroidery is on the fabric.

The double-sided cross stitch is a special type that presents the right as the reverse. It is suitable for embroidering garments in which the reverse of the work is also visible: the most classic example are the curtains, in which the embroidery must be able to see both behind and in front.
Point of Palestrina, a variant of the point of knot: simple, fast and impeccable.

Chain stitch, another simple but more discreet point, which resembles the crochet chain, since its operation is almost identical. This point, like the hem stitch and the stitch point, is used to outline the motifs to be embroidered, to fill in spaces or to create borders. It is one of the oldest points and is found in traditional oriental embroideries. The national costumes of Russian and Romanian women are often decorated with a chain stitch.

Embroidery of Parma, curious but little known point in which, from several chains, is filled by the festoon.

Embroidery of Lagartera, the correct way to name it is in the plural “Bordados de Lagartera” originating in the town of Lagartera (Toledo) Spain. It is also known as Laboratorios de Lagartera. And there are three main variants: Unraveled, Embroidered and Drawn.

Hardanger, Norwegian embroidery extremely difficult but exquisite. It is based on the unraveling of the fabric by drafts. All the points are made on a regular basis, counting the threads, creating small and large motifs that arranged in symmetry or repeated orderly, can adopt infinite shapes. The combination of different points allows to create particular contrasts between full and empty areas that can be accentuated with the choice of different colors or several shades of the same color.

Enhancement, embroidery to frame with which the fabric is filled with floral motifs or even with showy initials.

Richelieu embroidery, consists of making a hem, with a small stitch, around the contour of the desired pattern, then it is cut out and festooned in parts, so that the motif is not deformed.
Embroidered on tulle, we work from a tulle that is decorated with small decorative elements.
Gather (Smock), characteristic in children’s clothing, forming honeycomb.

Mallorcan embroidery, native to the Mediterranean archipelago, encompasses many points, such as chain and enhancement.

Segovian embroidery and Embroidery of Assisi, almost disappearing.

By the reasons
They may be:
Ornamental, the usual.
Embroidery of imagery those that form portraits or images although sometimes, they take these the color of the naked part done by brush and not embroidered.

The fabrics and yarns used in traditional embroidery vary from place to place. Wool, linen, and silk have been in use for thousands of years for both fabric and yarn. Today, embroidery thread is manufactured in cotton, rayon, and novelty yarns as well as in traditional wool, linen, and silk. Ribbon embroidery uses narrow ribbon in silk or silk/organza blend ribbon, most commonly to create floral motifs.

Surface embroidery techniques such as chain stitch and couching or laid-work are the most economical of expensive yarns; couching is generally used for goldwork. Canvas work techniques, in which large amounts of yarn are buried on the back of the work, use more materials but provide a sturdier and more substantial finished textile.

In both canvas work and surface embroidery an embroidery hoop or frame can be used to stretch the material and ensure even stitching tension that prevents pattern distortion. Modern canvas work tends to follow symmetrical counted stitching patterns with designs emerging from the repetition of one or just a few similar stitches in a variety of hues. In contrast, many forms of surface embroidery make use of a wide range of stitching patterns in a single piece of work.


The point counted and cross stitch
The counted point refers to any form of embroidery where the pattern is formed by counting a specific amount of dots on a regular weft, as opposed to free embroidery. Perhaps the best known form of counted point is called cross stitch. Very widespread, and for a long time in the whole world, this point of embroidery in the form of “x” is realized according to a model called diagram, sometimes on a canvas pre-printed for the apprenticeship; one of the most common types of books is the alphabet.

In this case, the drawing of a grid is reproduced by counting the points on a canvas with regular weft (stamen of linen, cotton, canvas or canvas Aida).

To make the cross stitches, there are two methods:

the traditional, where each cross is formed one after the other: xxx xx xxxx for example.
Danish, where the first embroider half points below in the round and half points above the return to form cross: /// //// // then go to \ \\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\
In both cases, it is important that all points are in the same direction. In the same book, the two techniques can be mixed: the Danish way for online point series, the traditional way for isolated points.

The choice of fabric to embroider is based on the desired end result and the dexterity of the embroiderer. Beginners generally prefer a canvas Aida to begin with, because it offers a very regular frame and a large mesh. Aïda canvases are available in several colors, the most common being white and ecru. The linen meanwhile is reserved for experienced embroiderers, as it offers the least regular pattern. The embroidery is then counting the son of the canvas, usually two weft son and two son string. For a finer rendering, the dots can be done on a single thread. Linen is most often undyed, brownish in color.

Cross stitch can also be made on a standard fabric, to adorn a garment most often. We then use a canvas “pull-son”, which reproduces a light frame. This fabric is fixed on the fabric of the garment by a few points of frame or by glue bomb tissue. Once the embroidery is complete, pull the vertical and horizontal son of the canvas “pull-son” to extract them. The embroidery is then regular regardless of the fabric of the garment on which it is made.

For large works, the canvas is stretched on an embroidery loom (or an embroidery drum), which keeps a constant quality and tension.

The thread used most often is milled cotton, presented in bobbins called “skeins”. They are usually composed of six wires of eight meters in length. More than 500 colors are available and some special effects exist, such as the “light effect” (shiny yarn) and the “variation effect” (variation of hue along the gradient yarn or in harmony).

Several leading brands offer yarns, canvases and embroidery kits, including DMC and Anchor. Many books and magazines offer diagrams to reproduce.

Corinne Chambras-Gangloff, embroiderer and collector of alphabets in particular, writer (she prefers to say “writer”) in her spare time, proposed in 1991 to call “crucifilist” the embroiderer or cross stitch.

Cross-stitch works can also incorporate other types of counted stitches to complete the pattern, such as the backstitch, frequently used to form thin lines to circumscribe pattern shapes or add delicate shapes such as small letters, motion effects, a cat’s whiskers, etc.

The point Catherine de Medicis
Developed by Catherine de Medici, it spreads in France at the beginning of the xvii th century. It is made on a rather thick and loose cotton fabric, called “buratto”. The drawings represent foliage, grotesque or geometric compositions. The layout is done in two stages, at the snapping point, then at the back, changing the points so as to obtain a two-line embroidery. It is practiced in Italy under the name of “punto Madama”.

The small point
A large mesh painted canvas is filled with small dots, cross stitches or half dots to fill the painted grid and become a painting. This is a male pastime attested in the British Navy.

Needle painting
The embroidery with the encroaching past imitates the watercolor (China, Europe).
This embroidery technique originated in the Far East aims to reproduce subjects – mainly botanical and animal, even mythological – with the greatest precision; to achieve this, embroiderers and embroiderers use the technique of single thread. The use of a single strand, very often silk, implies a significantly higher workload. Variations of techniques are numerous, but one of the most spectacular is probably the “double-sided” embroidery still performed in China. Today, it has several varieties: embroidery on one side, embroidery with the same drawings and colors on each side, embroidery with different designs and colors on both sides…

Xiang embroidery, one of the most famous crafts of Hunan province, is one of the four famous schools of this craft in China, with Su School (Suzhou, Jiangsu Province), Yue (Guangdong Province) and that of Shu (Sichuan Province). This form of needle painting implies that both sides are strictly identical, hence a totally reversible work. All the subtlety lies in the art of hiding the starting points and other knots that in normal times are always more or less visible on the back of the book.

In the West the needle painting is experiencing a significant revival of interest among the public 4.

Embroidery in relief
In this terminology, there are in fact many techniques whose common point is the important relief of the finished work.

In addition to ribbon embroidery, there is the stumpwork, a technique in which elements embroidered separately and possibly held together by small iron wires are attached to the work, and Brazilian embroidery, where the relief is given by the association of particular points and a thread having, of itself, some holding.

The embroidery at the point of Beauvais
The point of Beauvais is a technique of crochet embroidery known for centuries, it can make beautiful and solid works quickly enough when you master the technique.

The ribbon embroidery
Also called rococo embroidery, ribbon embroidery is a technical born in France in the xvii th century, in which we no longer embroiders with son, but with ribbons of different widths, often in silk.

The dots used are often those of thread embroidery, but there are also specific points, where we exploit the large width of the ribbon.

After being neglected for years, this embroidery returns to fashion, especially since it has the advantage of combining a relatively simple technique to a particularly impressive, often Victorian style.

Days that are subdivided into days with “drawn threads” and days with “tight threads”. The techniques are numerous and particularly conserved in Central Europe.

Another technique, Hardanger embroidery, comes from Northern Europe.

In the xvi th and xvii th centuries of white linen cloth were embroidered with silk black. Regular patterns and reversible, these fabrics were used to make clothes.

Today most often on stamen this embroidery is used to adorn small books or embroidery more complicated by playing on the thickness of the son used.

Embroidery on tulle
Imitation of lace needle, patterns are identified at the point of recovery and then embroidered at the point of drone or festoon, they are interconnected by “wheels” or “spiders”, then the bottom is cut to leave appear only the figures that can be filled beforehand.

This embroidery is executed in white thread on cotton tulle, it still serves today to embroider the headdresses of traditional costumes, especially in Brittany.

Renaissance or Richelieu embroidery
On linen or cotton cloth, figures with scalloped edges are connected to each other by flanges, then the fabric is cut.

In Renaissance embroidery the bridles are simple, in Richelieu embroidery, they are adorned with pins.

Indian embroidery Aari
The Aari technique is used by Western designers for their accessories and clothing designs.

Aari embroidery is practiced with a wooden frame, which can adapt to any length of fabric. This concept of embroidery has evolved from the Khatia Indian bed, still used in rural areas.

The patterns are drawn directly on the fabric. They organize themselves around a large central figurative motif Nadir Shahi Booti.

Embroidery chikan-kari
Booming xix th century in the then Bengal cities of Dhaka Bangladesh, Kolkata (Bengal) or Lucknow in Uttar Pradesh, this type of embroidery is done in white on white on a fine muslin support. It is still widely used nowadays for the decoration of kurtas passes.

Japanese embroidery sashiko
This technique appeared during the Edo era, and serves to strengthen and mend work clothes of the Japanese working population. Since the end of the xx th century, it is used for decorative purposes, as independent embroidery or complement the patchwork.

It is characterized by its regular and geometric patterns, and by its contrasting colors between the embroidery thread and the background fabric, traditionally white or ecru and indigo.

Contemporary embroidery
Nowadays, with more and more modern techniques, some companies can embroider on all media logos, images, more and more complex in large quantities and with great speed. The works of the famous embroiderers and creators François Lesage, René Bégué, dit Rébé, Miguel Cisterna 6, 7are exhibited at the Musée des Arts Décoratifs in Paris. On the one hand, they testify to an uncommon mastery of the meticulous technique, on the other hand the materials used are not only part of the luxury register, like silk and gold threads, but they introduce materials unexpected: mussel hulls, simple materials such as old rhinestones, jet darts, wooden beads, copper wires, horsehair, raffia and straw.

Pascal Jaouen revived the Breton embroidery by creating in 1995 an embroidery school in Quimper.

The embroidery with gold thread
Gold thread embroidery is a particular technique that uses gold or silver threads and has been widely used for military, liturgical, royal, official, etc. clothing. The threads used have specific names such as: quill, jaseron, or yarn. Each of these threads requires a different working technique. Today this technique is particularly used in haute couture or decoration and is still worn by some military and religious.

Embroidery can be used to learn symmetries, scales in elementary mathematics.

Embroidery is also an object of study for folklorists and art historians, who see a key identity factors of the old provinces since the xix th century. It is also a collector’s item, much sought since the beginning of the xx th century.

Today, industrial embroidery is spreading around the world and even in Africa. For example, in Central Africa and more particularly in Cameroon, this discipline was introduced in 1998 by the company Buetec Broderie Sarl and already the communication by the object had a new face in the sub-region and many prefer it by far to other markings such as screen printing, transfer and many others.

Historical applications and techniques
Depending on time, location and materials available, embroidery could be the domain of a few experts or a widespread, popular technique. This flexibility led to a variety of works, from the royal to the mundane.

Elaborately embroidered clothing, religious objects, and household items often were seen as a mark of wealth and status, as in the case of Opus Anglicanum, a technique used by professional workshops and guilds in medieval England. In 18th-century England and its colonies, samplers employing fine silks were produced by the daughters of wealthy families. Embroidery was a skill marking a girl’s path into womanhood as well as conveying rank and social standing.

Conversely, embroidery is also a folk art, using materials that were accessible to nonprofessionals. Examples include Hardanger from Norway, Merezhka from Ukraine, Mountmellick embroidery from Ireland, Nakshi kantha from Bangladesh and West Bengal, and Brazilian embroidery. Many techniques had a practical use such as Sashiko from Japan, which was used as a way to reinforce clothing.


For embroidery you use special yarns. The most commonly used today are Sticktwist and Perlgarn. Sticktwist is 6-ply and can be divided into thinner strands for fine embroidery. Pearl yarn is indivisible, but it is shiny and has a smoother surface. But other materials can be embroidered and were also used in past centuries, for example, silk filament, twisted silk yarn, narrow silk ribbon, wool yarn, cotton (stitch) yarn or fancy yarns such as chenille.

Embroidery Needles
Needles are the most important and elementary working tool for sewing and embroidering. A sewing or embroidery needle is generally a specially shaped metal pin with an eye or an incorporated hook, can be pierced with the fabric. The needles are provided with one or two tips. Through the eye of the sewing or embroidery thread, also referred to as needle thread, pulled / threaded. Through the hook of the hook needle (needle for crank and chain stitching machines), a thread loop can be detected after piercing the material to be sewn or the embroidery bottom, so that stitching takes place.

There are five basic types of needles:

Single-pointed sewing or embroidery needles for needlework with the eye in the shaft of the needle,
double-pointed needles for hand embroidery machines with the eye in the middle of the needle,
pointed needles for sewing and embroidery machines,
Hook needles for chainstitch or crank stitch machines,
Needles for special embroidery machines, for example, for oriental embroidery machines, tufting machine, etc.

Hand Needle Needle
Hand sewing and embroidery needles are elongated thin straight or curved metal pins that terminate at one of the ends in a point and have an eye at the other end. They exist

with round tip for countable fabrics (Aida, Stramin etc.) and
with pointed tip for finer fabrics.

There are also different sizes. The finer the fabric, the thinner the needle used should be. The needle diameter, the length of the needle and the eye (size and shape) are designed differently for use as a sewing or embroidery needle and for the thread to be processed. Embroidery needles are usually shorter and have a longer and larger eye.

The single-pointed sewing and embroidery needle was for centuries the most important tool for sewing and embroidery.

Machine Needle
Sewing and embroidery needles are needlelike needles, d. H. the eye is in the area of the needle tip. Since sewing or embroidery threads on the machine needles slide through the eye at each stitch, the ears have a special shape. They must be designed so that the needle threads to be processed are not damaged and that yarn breaks are avoided with a high number of stitches per unit time.

The needles for embroidery machines are now offered in a variety of special designs in terms of shape and design of the eye, the tip, surface, the material, etc. For the threading of the needle thread in the eye during the running of the shuttle embroidery machine – Gangfädeln – and even at standstill of the machine threading hook, also called Fädelhäkchen used.

Depending on the technique used, there are various fabrics that are suitable for embroidery. For cross stitch, the fabric should be countable, for needle painting, however, this is not necessary. Countable fabrics include Aida fabric, canvas or linen. Stretch fabrics are not suitable for any type of embroidery. For Petit Point embroidery is gladly resorted to silk gauze.

Embroidery hoop
In order not to contract the fabric through the embroidery and to avoid distortions in the pattern, stretch the fabric tightly in an embroidery hoop. This is usually round and consists of an inner and an outer ring, between which the fabric is placed.

Heavy substances or substances that z. B. get a gold embroidery need a square frame, which consists of a spar and two perforated slats. The fabric must be sewn as a rectangle to the spars, possibly rolled up on the spars and then stretched with the perforated battens, which are guided by the spars. This way even large-sized embroideries can be realized very well without distortion.

Visual aids
Especially for fine embroidery, it is helpful to use a magnifying glass attached to a swiveling arm. Such loupes are also available with integrated lamp. Loupes should be sufficiently large and close to the point of embroidery to allow two-eyed vision through the magnifying glass.

Even a pair of reading glasses offers the advantage of a closer range of sharpness of the eye.

Particularly bright, non-dazzling lighting can be produced by a lamp with a small screen, which is brought close to the embroidery up to 10 or 20 centimeters.

Bright light allows the eye to sharply dim the pupil, producing high depth of field and eliminating edge aberrations of the lens.

Embroidery Patterns
Embroidery designs are usually printed on paper or fabric. Paper templates are available as color templates or symbol templates. Partially embroidered templates for embroidery, such as. B. used in samplers.

Machine stitching
Contemporary embroidery is stitched with a computerized embroidery machine using patterns digitized with embroidery software. In machine embroidery, different types of “fills” add texture and design to the finished work. Machine embroidery is used to add logos and monograms to business shirts or jackets, gifts, and team apparel as well as to decorate household linens, draperies, and decorator fabrics that mimic the elaborate hand embroidery of the past.

Machine embroidery is most typically done with rayon thread, although polyester thread can also be used. Cotton thread, on the other hand, is prone to breaking and should be avoided if under 30 wt.

There has also been a development in free hand machine embroidery, new machines have been designed that allow for the user to create free-motion embroidery which has its place in textile arts, quilting, dressmaking, home furnishings and more. Users can use the embroidery software to digitize the digital embroidery designs. These digitized design are then transferred to the embroidery machine with the help of a flash drive and then the embroidery machine embroiders the selected design onto the fabric.

Geographic and technical development
Swiss textile merchants from St. Gallen copied hand-embroidery by Turkish women around 1751 in Lyon (F). About Sticklehrerinnen was spread in the northeast of Switzerland and from 1763 in Vorarlberg this craft.

In 1818 there were about 6,000-10,000 embroiderers in Vorarlberg with a population of around 100,000.

In 1828, Joshua Heilmann from Mulhouse (Alsace) developed a hand-held embroidery machine that returns a double-pointed needle entirely through a tissue and elsewhere.

In 1863 came the chain stitch machine.

In the Schifflistickmaschine, awarded in 1873 by Isaak Gröbli from Gossau SG at the World Fair in Vienna, the pointed-eared needle pierces the material with only part of its length, and the needle thread on the opposite side is entangled with the shuttle thread. Shorter needle path and longer shuttle threads bring greater efficiency than the older technique.

Electric motor and pantograph with punch card control led to the embroidery machine.

Today, digital control using graphics files is the state of the art in embroidering fonts, logos or multi-color images.

Embroidered textiles
Branding of clothing for brand companies, sports clubs, national teams is often done today by digital embroidery. In one go, there is the possibility to personalize pieces, such as by embroidering the name of individual athletes.

Badges for sewing on garments, mass produced at least since 1970, ie without digital graphic design – for state uniforms, boy scout uniform shirt, Red Cross jacket, Rennfahrerkapperl. Labeling of branded textiles was made initially rather up or sewing or adhering a label. Increasingly, textiles (or a cut piece prior to sewing) are individually embroidered. It sometimes happens that rain and windproof fabrics from / for rain jackets or gloves are damaged by embroidery, but they are taped back tightly at the back.

Embroidered motifs on garments are sometimes more durable against scrubbing and washing than imprints.

City and Guilds qualification in Embroidery allows embroiderers to become recognized for their skill. This qualification also gives them the credibility to teach. For example, the notable textiles artist, Kathleen Laurel Sage, began her teaching career by getting the City and Guilds Embroidery 1 and 2 qualifications. She has now gone on to write a book on the subject.

Source from Wikipedia