Crafts-Hobbies Vivian | 22 Feb 2011 04:39 pm

Crewel Embroidery – Two Cultures Combined In A Single Art Form

Crewel embroidery is a type of needlework that uses crewel thread, which is actually a twisted woolen yarn. This rather thick thread is used to create very complex and elaborate designs.

Crewel embroidery was highly popular in Germany after the Protestant reformation. But the origin of crewel embroidery is actually in London, and the peak of its popularity was in the early 16th century.

This was the time when Great Britain was constantly trading goods with India, and many crewel embroidery enthusiasts began to include Indian elements in their embroidery designs.

A typical crewel embroidery pattern from this age would consist of objects from nature such as trees and living creatures. These are patterns that the English have acquired from the Indian culture.

At the same time, people from India have also started showing interest in crewel embroidery. They created their own designs that are largely based on the patterns that they have seen from the English. This combination of two very diverse cultures into a single art form is one of the many things that make crewel embroidery so extraordinary and special.

Before long, the popularity of crewel embroidery reached the shores of the United States. The nature patterns that the English are so fond of also became prevalent in American crewel embroidery. However, the subject of the needlework is more on forest animals that are more common on American land, such as rabbits and deer.

Because of the thickness of the thread, crewel embroidery can be quite heavy. Thin fabrics simply could not support the weight of the thread, so a thicker and more durable kind of material is required if you want to make your own crewel embroidery project.

Usually, heavy cotton or linen will be able to handle the weight of the crewel thread. If you want to use softer kinds of cloth such as flannel, satin, or chiffon, then you should probably do a more dainty kind of needlework on those materials.

There are also special needles that you would have to buy if you want to start doing crewel embroidery. These needles have a larger eye that can accommodate the thickness of the crewel thread, and their edges are much sharper than regular embroidery needles.

Crewel embroidery does not have too many rules when it comes to implementing the design. How you implement your design is really up to you. You may use any kind of stitching you like as long as you achieve the design at the end.

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