Have you wondered just how many hand embroidery techniques there are in the world? I love questions like this one that I received via e-mail, because they make me think, they send me looking, and, often, they make me laugh! There are lots of hand embroidery techniques. Lots and lots. More than I know, I’m pretty sure!! I’m going to attempt to develop a list here, hopefully with input from readers around the world!
First, though, let’s define some things, starting with the term hand embroidery. Embroidery is the embellishment of a ground (fabric, paper, leather, whatever…) using thread made out of various materials. Generally, embroidery implies using a needle and thread to embellish something. Hand embroidery is this kind of embellishment done without the aid of a machine – by hand, in other words!
Techniques are specific ways of doing things – in this case, types of hand embroidery. Some types overlap – for example, drawn thread work, and cutwork, and whitework are different types or techniques of embroidery, but often, in whitework, you’ll find elements of cutwork or drawn thread work. Hmmmm. Perhaps I’m biting off more than I can chew?
How many hand embroidery techniques are there?
Here’s my first un-alphabitized, uncategorized list right off the top of my head. I’m going to allow myself no more than 2 minutes to type, at which point, I’ll stop and see what’s there. See if you can supply techniques I miss!
Canvas Work (or needlepoint)
Cross Stitch (counted)
Thread or Needle painting (soft shading)
Klosterstitch (embroidered tapestry)
Free Style Embroidery
Times up. I’m scratching my head. Some of these need categorizing! And some I’m laughing at because I’m not sure why they would pop in my head right now. Chicken Scratch? I know I wrote a post about it once upon a time, but I’ve never actually done any!
Anyway – how about it? What am I missing? Or what have I listed incorrectly? What about regional embroidery techniques?