Decorating a piece of cloth with silk or yarn is as old as sewing itself. Embroidery is used as pure decoration as well as for religious and symbolic meanings.
Richly embroidered cloth and artifacts have been used to celebrate marriages, births and Christenings and even death for hundreds of years.
Embroidery exists in all parts of the world and takes many different forms. There are regional designs and motifs and colours but many embroidery stitches are common to all who embroider. Some can actually be traced along the ancient trade routes. The basic embroidery stitches have not changed that much over the centuries, the biggest change is machines that will embroider for you ( I have to say I am not keen on that at all, the art of hand embroidery is one to be encouraged and taught)
Inspired by the Bayeaux Tapestry, two hundred Quakers drawn from eight countries made their own enormous embroidery, showing the history of the Quaker community, from its beginnings in the Seventeenth Century to modern day. It took nine years to complete even with such a large number working on it. The piece, I believe, is currently on view at the Quaker Meeting House in Kendal, Cumbria. There are 77 panels and it is stunning workmanship.
Today it seems to be making a huge comeback with more and more people wanting to learn it or buy things made with embroidery embellishment. Vintage embroidered table cloths are in vogue too and also to cut up and make into other things for the home.
I enjoy embroidery and I am using more and more of it within my New designs of late.
If you have never given it ago, do, you can google and watch how to do all sorts of stitches and with a little practise you will become proficient and hooked!