Embroidery is the art of decorating a piece of fabric using a needle and thread. Different styles, techniques, colors, materials such as sequins, mirrors, pearls, beads etc. and more are used to make simple and plain fabric into a wonderous work of art. Embroidery is an ancient art of which traces have been discovered in Egyptian tombs and Persian battles. Travelers and traders from across the world would carry beautifully embroidered cloth in huge ships for sale and it grew immensely under the rule of Akbar as he was extremely fond of beautiful textiles. It should, however, not be confused with tapestries as contrary to the latter they are not directly woven into the fabric but stitched on top of the underlying base fabric.
There are various types of stitches associated with embroidery and they vary according to the design to be created the type and quality of the fabric as well that is being used. Nowadays, there are two options of embroidery available which namely are – Hand Embroidery and Machine Embroidery.
Hand Embroidery is extremely challenging work and even small projects may take days or months to complete. As suggested by the name, all the designs are made by hand, manually creating the intended design onto the fabric and it therefore requires years of practice and patience as well as proper equipment and high-quality fabric. It is also very difficult to perform in large quantities of fabric and can be very tedious. However, embroidery by hand is considered to be more relaxing than working with a machine and the stitches can be delicate and precise and provide much more freedom of design and movement to the artist. It also will result in a much more personal feel in the finished product.
Machine Embroidery, on the other hand, is much easier as compared to the hand. This technique was earlier employed by professionals only who had several projects to complete but now more people are taking up this art as a hobby and getting themselves a machine. Embroidery machines are available in all budgets with options of having a single needle or multiple needles or even being computer operated.
Basic Stitches That Are Used In Embroidery:
1. Running stitch: it is used to create an outline of the shape or design that is being made. It is the most basic and simple stitch of all
2. Back stitch: this can also be used for the making of the outline of a design and also to provide extra details to the finished design
3. Split Stitch: It may look like a chain when done again and again. It is great for outlining thin designs such as stems
4. Stem stitch: It is the most basic and easiest stitch. It is beginner friendly and can be used for straight as well as curved lines
5. Satin stitch: It is a basic stich used to fill in designs to provide a satin-like appearance
6. Chain stitch: It forms a chain pattern after a series of such stitches. It is used to fill in lines
There are uncountable patterns of stitches created every day. The art of embroidery has certainly advanced from the days of the pharaohs and is being used extensively in producing a variety of beautiful fabrics which are not only used for clothing anymore but on a variety of surfaces such as those of handbags or even wall decorations. The type of fabric and the style of stitching vary in different regions but it can certainly be said that embroidery has now become an intricate process of creating beauty and it will only keep on developing further.