Summer for me is all about effortless pieces that are light, easy to wear and pair with other items to give you a chic feel. This week’s post is about embroidery detail which can add a twist to your everyday outfit.
The art of embroidery has been dated to the Warring States period in China (5th-3rd century BC) which fostered to develop further this decorative technique. An interesting fact is that the techniques or materials used for embroidery have not been altered since the early days and people often find that a technical accomplishment and high standard of craftsmanship in early works are rarely achieved in later times.
Embroidery was a very important art in the Medieval Islamic world and was a sign of high social status in Muslim societies. In cities such as Damascus, Cairo and Istanbul, embroidery was visible on handkerchiefs, uniforms, flags, calligraphy, shoes, robes, tunics, horse trappings, slippers, sheaths, pouches, covers, and even on leather belts.
Elaborately embroidered clothing, religious objects, and household items have been a mark of wealth and status in many cultures including ancient Persia, India, China, Japan, Byzantium, and medieval and Baroque Europe. Traditional folk techniques are passed from generation to generation in cultures as diverse as northern Vietnam, Mexico, and eastern Europe. Professional workshops and guilds arose in medieval England.
One of the embroidery patterns is cross-stitch counted-tread which is created by making stitches over a predetermined number of threads in the foundation fabric. When I was eight or nine, I learned this technique from a friend of mine and until now, I ocasionally cross stitch small pieces on canvas.
As this is something I deeply relate to, I am so happy that this elaborate stitching is making a comeback. This is no longer the stuff of grandma’s craft projects and Renaissance Faire costumes; embroidery is shedding its delicate and girly associations for a more chic look. It has the contrast of the feminine and colorful detailing against the hardworking fabric makes for an unexpected yet visually intriguing option.
Traditional needle and thread embroidery is certainly beautiful and eye-catching. It can be paired with jeans for warmer days and leather and wool for cooler climates.