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December 06, 2007

Embroidery

Embroidery is the art or handicraft of decorating fabric or other materials with designs stitched in strands of thread or yarn using a needle. Embroidery may also incorporate other materials such as metal strips, pearls, beads, quills, and sequins. Sewing machines can be used to create machine embroidery.

Types of embroidery

In a local fashion boutique in Bangalore, India, a craftsman seen busy with needlework on a designer-ware
In a local fashion boutique in Bangalore, India, a craftsman seen busy with needlework on a designer-ware
Detail of an embroidered silk gauze ritual garment from a 4th century BC, Zhou era tomb at Mashan, Hubei province, China.
Detail of an embroidered silk gauze ritual garment from a 4th century BC, Zhou era tomb at Mashan, Hubei province, China.

[[Image:Oldest pakko embroidery.JPG|thumb|right|Traditional Pakko embroidery of Tharparker since centuries Embroidery is classified according to its use of the underlying foundation fabric. One classification system divides embroidery styles according to the relationship of stitch placement to the fabric:

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

A second division classifies embroidery according to whether the design is stitched on top of or through the foundation fabric:

  • In Surface embroidery, patterns are worked on top of the foundation fabric using decorative stitches and laid threads. Surface embroidery encompasses most free embroidery as well as some forms of counted-thread embroidery (such as cross-stitch).
  • In Canvas work, threads are stitched through a fabric mesh to create a dense pattern that completely covers the foundation fabric. All canvas work is not counted-thread embroidery. There are printed and hand painted canvases where the painted or printed image is meant to serve as a color guide. Stitches are sometimes of the stitcher's choosing.

An important distinction between canvas work and surface embroidery is that surface work requires the use of an embroidery hoop or frame to stretch the material and ensure even stitching tension that prevents pattern distortion. Canvas work tends to follow very symmetrical counted stitching patterns with designs developing from repetition of one or only a few similar stitches in a variety of thread hues. Most forms of surface embroidery, by contrast, are distinguished by a wide range of different stitching patterns used in a single piece of work.

History

The origins of embroidery are lost in time, but examples survive from ancient Egypt, Iron Age Northern Europe and Zhou Dynasty China. It has many roots all around the world and is being done in many different ways because of their cultures. ==

Elaborately embroidered clothing, religious objects, and household items have been a mark of wealth and status in many cultures including ancient Persia, India, Byzantium, medieval England (Opus Anglicanum or "English work"), and Baroque Europe.

Hand embroidery is a traditional art form passed from generation to generation in many cultures, including northern Vietnam, Mexico, and eastern Europe.

The Bayeux Tapestry is not a true tapestry; it is an elaborately embroidered wall hanging originally displayed at the Bayeux Cathedral, and now housed at a special museum in Bayeux, Normandy.

Contemporary alterantives are screen printed transfers in flock and CAD-CUT materials such as Promoflock and Premium. Screen printed transfers are applied to fabrics with a heat press ( sometimes called a heat seal machine). CAD-CUT materials are cut on a plotter cutter and then applied in a similar way. The art of garment decoration has moved with the times, heat applied transfers can now be found on sports and leisure wear, promtional items and workwear.

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