Guest post written by social media volunteer Melissa.
About 2 years ago I picked up embroidery. I sit behind a computer all day and wanted to create something with my hands. This craft is a great way for me to combine my love of design with crafting and playing with colors. Since then, I have fallen in love with embroidery. With this being a craft I love so much, I was thrilled to see embroidery making a comeback in modern day fashion.
Now when I say embroidery, most people think of the pillowcases and table linens their grandmas used to make, but embroidery has been revamped and revitalized by modern makers in recent years and has actually become trendy.
Where does embroidery originally come from?
Embroidery is the handcrafted art of embellishing fabric with a thread and needle. It's origins date back as far as 30,000 BC and has been used to decorate the clothing and housewares from religious figureheads to royalty. It was considered a symbol of luxury and wealth due to the fine materials (gold and silver thread) and labor intensive act of creating each decorative piece.
Free hand embroidery, as hand embroidery became known due to the rise of machine embroidery in Switzerland is the later half of the 19th century, has endured throughout the years because much like oral histories, the stitches have been passed down from generation to generation. From Vietnam to Mexico to Eastern Europe, each region has its own distinctive style of embroidery stitches and way of embellishment.
Embroidery became so popular in medieval England, that guilds and workshops known as Opus Anglicanum or "English work" were created to keep up with the demand. These embroideries featured many religious depictions and were often crafted by male embroiderers— surprising since embroidery is often referred to as a woman's domestic hand craft. In fact, most historical embroidery works featured symbol depictions inspired by religion and superstition, such as the Sphinx, Dragon and The Tree of Life, or to underline the membership to a certain aristocratic family.
Not your grandma's pillowcases and linens
The term embroidery often has people thinking royal dresses or crocheted tea towels, but embroidery has become so much more than a specialty use item or historical dress. Embroidery as a textile art has seen a rebirth thanks to textile artists who have breathed new life into this once opulent and religious art form.
From stitching on tennis rackets to car hoods, using the embroidery hoop as a frame to embroidery as a political statement, embroidery has seen a revitalization not only in art, but also in fashion.
Embroidery and embellishments have become one of the most popular trends this year. From t-shirts to denim jackets, and skirts to shoes embroidery is everywhere.
So how can you add embroidery to your wardrobe without breaking the bank?
Susan is a frequent volunteer at Eastside Community Aid Thrift Shop, where she sorts, prices, and stocks merchandise to her heart's content. Before retirement, she owned and operated a consignment shop for women's plus size clothing in Seattle. Through trial and error and talking with customers, she learned a thing or two. An avid "thrift shopper," Susan loves to buy clothing, especially when she gets good quality and value for her money.
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