Embroidery is the art of decorating fabric or other materials with needle and thread or yarn. A characteristic of embroidery is that the basic techniques or stitches of the earliest work remain the fundamental techniques of hand embroidery today. Machine embroidery mimics hand embroidery but the stitches of machine work rely on the use of multiple threads and resemble hand work in their appearance not their construction.
Early examples of embroidery survive from Ancient Egypt, Iron Age Europe and Zhou Dynasty China. Embroidery was a very important art in the Medieval Islam world. Because embroidery was a sign of high social status in Muslim societies it became a hugely popular art. Elaborately embroidered clothing, religious objects and household items have been a mark of status in many cultures including ancient Persia, India, China, Japan and Europe.
Much contemporary embroidery is stitched with a computerised embroidery machine. Machine embroidery is used to add logos and monograms to apparel, as well as to decorate household linens, draperies and decorator fabrics that mimic the elaborate hand embroidery of the past.
Here are some pieces that incorporate some great examples of embroidery work from members of the Dust team: