What is "Embroidery" - Definition & Explanation
Last Updated on: 09-May-2023 (11 months, 7 days ago)
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In the realm of textiles, embroidery refers to the artful technique of embellishing fabric using needle and thread. It involves creating intricate designs, patterns, or images by stitching thread onto a base fabric, resulting in a three-dimensional and decorative effect. Embroidery can be performed by hand or with the aid of embroidery machines, allowing for a wide range of design possibilities and intricacy.

Embroidery serves both aesthetic and functional purposes in the textile industry. It can be used to enhance the visual appeal of various textile products, such as clothing, home furnishings, and accessories. Additionally, embroidery can be utilized to add text or logos for branding or personalization.

Types of Embroidery

Embroidery encompasses a variety of techniques and styles. Here are some of the most commonly recognized types of embroidery:

  1. Counted Thread Embroidery: This type of embroidery involves creating intricate patterns using stitches on even-weave fabrics. The design is determined by counting the threads of the fabric, resulting in precise and geometrically aligned motifs.
  2. Crewel Embroidery: Crewel embroidery utilizes wool threads to create bold and textured designs. Traditionally, it is done on a plain-weave fabric and often features floral motifs.
  3. Free-motion Embroidery: Free-motion embroidery, also known as thread painting or freestyle embroidery, involves using a sewing machine to create freehand designs. It offers more artistic freedom and is often used for creating intricate, detailed artwork.
  4. Machine Embroidery: Machine embroidery utilizes computerized machines to create complex designs with precision and speed. It is widely used in mass production and allows for consistent and intricate patterns.
  5. Cross-stitch Embroidery: Cross-stitch embroidery involves creating X-shaped stitches to form a pattern on the fabric. It is often used for decorative purposes and is popular for creating intricate and colorful designs.

Top International Users and Manufacturers

Embroidery is highly valued and utilized by various international users and manufacturers in the textile industry. Here are some prominent examples:

  1. Chanel: The luxury fashion brand Chanel incorporates intricate embroidery in their collections, showcasing the meticulous craftsmanship and attention to detail for which the brand is renowned.
  2. Elie Saab: Elie Saab, a prominent designer known for his elegant and extravagant designs, often incorporates lavish and intricate embroidery in his couture and eveningwear collections.
  3. Gucci: Gucci frequently uses embroidery as a decorative element in their fashion and accessories, combining traditional techniques with their unique and innovative designs.
  4. Versace: Versace utilizes embroidery to add luxurious details to their garments, reflecting their bold and opulent aesthetic.
  5. Valentino: Valentino incorporates exquisite embroidery in their haute couture creations, often featuring delicate floral motifs and intricate patterns.

Tips in Handling Embroidered Textiles

When handling embroidered textiles, it is important to take proper care to preserve their beauty and integrity. Here are some tips to consider:

  • Handwashing or Gentle Cycle: To prevent damage to the embroidered areas, it is recommended to handwash or use the gentle cycle when cleaning embroidered textiles.
  • Ironing with Caution: When ironing embroidered fabric, place a clean cloth or towel over the embroidery to protect it from direct heat. Iron on a low temperature setting and avoid using steam.
  • Avoid Sharp Objects: Be cautious when wearing or storing embroidered textiles to avoid snagging or tearing the delicate embroidery. Keep them away from sharp objects that could cause damage.
  • Proper Storage: Store embroidered textiles in a clean, dry, and well-ventilated area. Avoid folding or hanging them in direct sunlight, as prolonged exposure to sunlight can fade the embroidery over time.


Embroidery is a remarkable technique that adds beauty, intricacy, and personalization to textile products. From handcrafted designs to computerized precision, embroidery has a rich history and continues to be embraced by top international fashion brands. Its diverse styles, such as counted thread, crewel, free-motion, machine, and cross-stitch embroidery, offer endless creative possibilities. By following proper handling techniques, individuals can ensure the longevity and preservation of embroidered textiles, allowing their intricate beauty to be appreciated for years to come.

A fabric decorated with needlework stitching of yarn or thread. May be done by hand or machine.
Embroidery is an ancient variety of decorative needlework in which designs and pictures are created by stitching strands of some material on to a layer of another material. Most embroidery uses thread or wool stitched onto a woven fabric, but the stitches could be executed in, for example, wire or leather strands, and embroidery can be worked onto many materials. ...
Decorative stitching on fabric. Generally involves non-lettering designs but can also include lettering and/or monograms. Evidence of embroidery exists during the reign of Egyptian pharaohs, in the writings of Homer and from the Crusaders of the 12th century. Evolved from hand work to manual sewing machines and from handlooms and schiffli machines with hundreds of needles to high-speed, computerized multihead machines.
Embroidery is the art or handicraft of decorating fabric or other materials with designs stitched in strands of thread or yarn using a needle. Embroidery may also incorporate other materials such as metal strips, pearls, beads, quills, and sequins.
An embellishment of a fabric or garment in which colored threads are sewn into the fabric to create a design. Embroidery may be done either by hand or machine.

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