The History of Embroidery

The Wonderful History of Embroidery Through the Ages

Read the following article to gain knowledge about the wonderful art form of embroidery, from its ancient roots till the present day.
Embroidery is the art of decorating fabric or other materials, by stitching designs, using thread, yarn, and a needle. Often, other materials such as metal strips, precious and semi-precious stones, and sequins are used to enhance this decorative stitching technique.

Hand embroidery involves stitching designs by hand onto the fabric. This process is time-consuming and painstaking, but produces amazing results.

History of Embroidery Stitches

The use of embroidery to decorate clothes has been around since man began to wear clothes. A method of decorating and embellishing clothing, embroidered designs were developed as a result of hard work and care. Embroidery as an art form has its origins, which can be traced back to the Iron Age.

This journey began when primitive man discovered that he could use thread to join pieces of fur to make clothes. As a natural progression, he also discovered that the same thread could be used to make decorative patterns on the clothes. He also used colorful beads, stones, and bones to add to these designs.

Several excellent examples of beautiful embroidery work are still surviving till date. Samples can be found from Ancient Egypt, China, Persia, India, and England. Each country has its own distinctive embroidery style, which incorporates the culture and imagery from their history and tradition.

Embroidered clothing was also considered to be a symbol of wealth. Many scenes from history are often found designed onto fabric; for example, the Bayeux Tapestry. It is 231 feet long, and portrays the Battle of Hastings in 1066.

Industrial Revolution and Embroidery

The discovery of the shuttle embroidery revolutionized the clothes industry. In the 1800s, Joshua Heilmann worked on improving the design of a hand embroidery machine. This began a chain of events leading to the development of sewing machines in the 1860s, to the invention of hand powered embroidery looms in the 1870s.

Embroidery in Today's World

Presently, machine embroidery has grown by leaps and bounds. Computers have added another twist into this sewing technique, by making the process easier for mass production of various designs. Nowadays, machines are available in the market, which can embroider designs for you. Specially designed machines can even read a computerized design and stitch it for you.

Embroidery as an art form has enhanced our civilization, making it more aware of the beauty that can be created with a needle and a thread. Intricate designs and brilliantly colored patterns have infused a beauty of their own onto fabrics, adding to their value and worth.
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