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What is Embroidery

Updated: Jul 28, 2021

"Embroidery is the handicraft of decorating fabric or other materials with needle and thread or yarn. Embroidery may also incorporate other materials such as, pearls, beads, quills, and sequins. Today, embroidery is most often seen on caps, hats, coats, blankets, dress shirts, denim, stockings, and golf shirts. Embroidery is available with a wide variety of thread or yarn color."

A “One Year of Stitches” Project as Seen Through One Embroiderer’s Hoop

"The project is called 1 Year of Stitches, and it’s a 365-day project in which you fill a hoop (or two) with a crazy amount of colors, patterns, and stitches. 1 Year of Stitches is the brainchild of Hannah Claire Somerville, who has invited anyone interested to join in this impressive endeavor. Inspired by her work, Michelle Anais Beaulieu-Morgan embarked on this craft journey in mid-2016. Now, she’s about halfway through (you can start at any time of the year). "

Different types of hand embroidery stitches

There are many different types of embroidery

Natalie "Alabama" Chanin is an American fashion designer from Florence, Alabama. She is part of the zero-waste fashion movement. Her design company, Alabama Chanin, is a lifestyle company that produces well-designed and thoughtfully-made goods for the person and the home. The company uses 100% organic cotton jersey fabric in their designs, which is sourced sustainably from seed to fabric. Chanin's "open source" philosophy means that patterns and techniques for her garments are openly available through books and workshops.


Redwork embroidery, as its name suggests, is embroidery with red cotton thread over white fabric. It took its name from an embroidery thread known as Turkey Red. The manufacturing process for “Turkey Red” was complex and a well-kept secret for decades. The complete “recipe” for the original dye is still a mystery. Redwork was extremely popular among the common people because the cotton thread was not only colorfast, but it was less costly than the silk threads commonly used at the time, and the designs were easy to embroider.

Reverse Applique

What Is Reverse Appliqué?

You've probably heard of traditional appliqué, the process where a separate piece of fabric is attached to a base layer. Usually, traditional appliqué involves folding over the raw edges of the fabric and using small, nearly invisible stitches to affix it to the quilt or other item. Reverse appliqué uses some of the same principles as traditional appliqué, but the process is quite different.

In reverse appliqué, you cut a shape out of top layer of fabric, turn the edges over, and affix a second layer underneath. This allows the bottom layer to show through the shaped hole you created, adding a beautiful sense of texture to your creation. The process of reverse appliqué is a little easier than traditional appliqué, and the designs are often sewn by machine.

Cross Stitch

Cross Stitch is one of the easiest stitches to learn. It starts with a simple X shaped stitch that is commonly embroidered with floss on an evenweave fabric. The cross stitch is repeated numerous times to create a design. Counted cross stitch designs are made by following a grid or chart where each square that contains a symbol represents 1 stitch.


Needlepoint is a surface embroidery technique. Its basic stitch is like a half-stitch in cross stitching. Usually worked on very fine canvas, needlepoint is used to create upholstery, wall hangings, purses, rugs and more. It creates a look similar to that of tapestry, but instead of being woven on a loom, it is stitched by hand.

Ribbon Embroidery

Silk-ribbon embroidery is a romantic, old art that uses ribbon, embroidery floss, and perle cotton to work beautiful floral motifs and decorative stitch patterns by hand on garments and accessories. Read more:

There are many more techniques and designs. For more inspiration follow me here

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