Of all the embroidery methods, crewel is the most versatile and has the largest library of embroidery stitches available for the technique.
Crewelwork does not involve counting or require evenweave fabric, so you are free to create the most realistic curves, which makes it popular for tapestry work.
This decorative embroidery was most famously used on the Bayeux tapestry.
It first became popular among the housewives during the Jacobean period, the 17th century rule of King James I, when it was used on chair cushions, drapery and bed curtains to stitch fancy flowers and animals.
There was a revival during the late 19th century Arts and Crafts Movement, and there has been recent popularity for hand embroidery on purses and clothes. I have seen girls doing it on their jeans!
I made my first embroidery in the 7th grade. It was a butterfly, of all things! You may have noticed I like butterflies.
This embroidery style was traditionally worked in wool or linen but you can use anything now. That 7th grade butterfly was made with DMC embroidery floss on muslin.
It was an excellent first project because these stitches form a basis for many other embroidery methods.
Basic Crewel Embroidery Stitches
Some stitches are easy, and some are complex. The basic embroidery stitches are used in many other embroidery methods.
Complete Embroidery Kits
Looking for kits that include everything you need to complete a project? I found some nice ones and listed them here.
Custom embroidered appliques can be attached by machine or with hand stitching. Learn the best stitches to use and how to stabilize the fabric.
Crazy Quilt Embroidery
Learn how stitches are used in crazy quilt embroidery. Hand embroidery is perfect for crazy quilting!
Embroidery on Knit Work
Learn how to use the duplicate stitch for creative embroidery embellishments on knitting.
Create dimensional dreamscapes with Brazilian embroidery and stumpwork techniques.
Hand Embroidery Online Art Gallery
Share your favorite projects and rate the hand embroidery patterns that others have stitched!
This method is great for beginners yet there are always new stitches for advanced embroiderers to master.