Since I’m exploring a bit of crewel embroidery these days, I thought I’d share some resources with you for different things relevant to crewel embroidery.
You’ll find that most of these resources are relevant to other types of hand embroidery as well, though, so even if you aren’t into crewel, you’ll probably find something here that entices you!
Transferring Your Embroidery Design
For transferring crewel designs, a reader suggested using a sepia colored micron pen, as it will be less likely to show (with anything except white). I totally agree! But sepia colored art pens are not always available at craft and art stores, so they’re harder to come by.
I just ordered a couple from Blick Art Materials. They have both the Sakura Micron Pens and the Prismacolor Illustration Markers. I like both. A product search for “micron” pens will bring these up.
A light table is also a great instrument for transferring designs. If you like to embroider your own designs instead of pre-printed designs, investing in one of these is a good idea. You can use it for all kinds of applications – not just for tracing onto fabric.
I use mine for lots of things – card-making, embossing, designing layouts for needlework, etc.
Fabric for Crewel Embroidery
Traditionally, linen twill is favored for crewel work. Besides linen twill, you can also use a plain weave linen.
I like Legacy linen (from Access Commodities) linen twill. It’s lighter than the traditional heavy-weight twill used with many examples of historical crewel work today. This makes transferring a design by tracing a whole lot easier!
But that’s not the only reason I like it. It’s a fine, sturdy fabric in a pleasing white-ish creamy color – ivory – and it just makes a lovely background. It’s also strong as all get-out, so it works well as an alternate fabric for goldwork and the like, too.
If you’re looking for plain-weave linen, Strathaven linen is great as a ground fabric, too.
Update, 2017: The sales mentioned in the title were ages ago (back in 2010), so that information has been deleted.
You can still find the products mentioned above through different sources:
Sakura Macron art pens in sepia are still available through Blick’s online or at local art and craft stores.
Light boxes – I have this one now, that I reviewed a while ago. You’ll find several alternatives at the end of the review, too.
Linen – You can find both Strathaven linen and Legacy linen twill in the US at local or online needlework shops that carry goods from Access Commodities.