Hand embroidery, of one kind or another, is thousands of years old.
What is Embroidery?
We may not even notice that “Embroidery” is so much a part of our lives.
However, when a baseball cap has a stitched logo when a shirt or skirt features fancy stitching, or when a sweater is monogrammed, embroidery is the main cause. It is granted, this kind of embroidery is can be done just by machine, but beautiful and gorgeous stitching is possible through the age-old art of hand embroidery also.
History of Hand Embroidery
In Ancient Egypt “Hand embroidery” was used to ordain the hems of royal robes, in tapestries in the Middle Ages during the Colonial and Victorian eras. It continues as an art form till nowadays. How many people are noted with counted cross stitch? and it seems clear that counted cross stitch has nearly eclipsed it. There are so many people who still love to work hand embroidery, and it decorates wall hangings, quilts, pillowcases, and table runners. Of one kind or another, Hand embroidery is thousands of years old.
It differs from counted cross stitch in that it uses various types of stitches to achieve interest and texture, whereas counted cross stitch uses a single stitch and relies on shading and color for texture. The stitch, named Counted Cross Stich, is worked from a graph, where the desired printed design is executed as a series of X’s and the artist stitches the desired design accordingly.
Embroidery designs may be drawn or stamped on the material, or it can also be done freehand. Embroidery uses an embroidery needle and embroidery floss, which has a slightly larger eye but is still sharp.
Five stitches build the basis for the hand embroidery. There are more, but an artist who get these five stitches can work 95 percent of the kits available. The stitches are: outline, lazy daisy, satin, French and cross knot. The outline stitch is a running stitch that outlines a design and the satin stitch fills in open areas with closely worked stitches that give the appearance of satin. A lazy daisy makes various small flower petals, while the basic cross (X) stitch fills in an open areas, or forms designs. The French knot is used to suggest small dots, such as eyes, flower centers, pebbles, and so on.
A beginner’s hand-embroiders designer should start with a small design that uses mostly cross, lazy daisy stitches, and outline. These are the most facile stitches to master and the item may use satin stitch, but it should only be in small areas. Veteran embroidery designers may want to equipage a project that is made mostly from satin stitch, but this is very strictly for those who have mastered it. Satin stitch is very simple enough in theory, but making it look shiny and smooth, with uneven stitches or no gaps, takes a time to master properly.
Various needlebook craft books are available. They will give lessons or instructions for the five basic stitches, and others as well. Education classes such as community education classes, may also be available and lessons for the basic five stitches are available on the Internet also and the kits are available in any craft store.
Hand embroidery is a beautiful art and craft that almost anyone can learn and it is an art that should be preserved and well worth learning.