Thursday, April 30, 2009

Opus Anglicanum Emproidey

Term Opus Anglicanum used in medieval continental inventories to describe English embroidery. It was famous for its fine gold work and the use of techniques of underside couching and split stitch. This embroidery pattern was used for both ecclesiastical and secular textiles, although very few samples of this type of embroidery have survived. English embroiderers are famous for used of specific techniques while stitching the face and hair. To complete the head they would use two different colors to denote natural curl. Another characteristic of Opus Anglicanum was the general liveliness of expression and pose in the figure modeling of features and the use of split stitches worked spirally, for example, to suggest rounded cheeks and black eyes. Minutely observed birds and animals, clearly based on contemporary animal drawings, figured largely in the decorative schemes. This Embroidery pattern forms the balance between silver-gilt metalwork, stained glass, sculpture and architecture. Because of the use of expensive material used in the embroidered textiles the article became something of a status symbol for royalty and religious leaders. In 1317, Queen Isabella, wife of Edward III, paid 100 marks which becomes £40,000 of today to “Rose, the wife of John de Bureford, citizen and merchant of London, for an embroidered cope for the choir, lately purchased from her to make a present to the Lord High Pontiff from the Queen.”

Wednesday, April 29, 2009

Anglo-Saxon embroidery

Anglo-Saxon designs in embroidery reflected design in other mediums such as carving and illumination. There was extensive use of interlaced patterns, figural and animal designs as well as architecturally inspired structure within the needlework design. As these embroideries drew heavily from Biblical and religious themes that is why is used heavily in church decorations. There are many references to embroidery in literature and also to those who produced it. In the 10th C, there is reference to St. Dunstan working on designs for Queen Aedgytha, wife of Edward the Confessor. There is also Queen Margaret of Scotland, wife of Malcolm III, who decorated copes, chasubles, stoles and altar cloths. Gifts of textiles to the Church formed an important part of late Anglo-Saxon society. Vestments, made up of many marks worth of gold, were given to various religious communities during this period. These Vestments are often the most valuable items in the treasuries of the communities. Because of the intrinsic worth of these items (a cope and two chasubles burnt in the 14th century recovered over two hundred and fifty pounds worth of gold) many were destroyed to recover the gold. This explains why so few of these items survive, despite their acknowledged beauty.

Tuesday, April 28, 2009

Japanese Embroidery

Japanese embroidery which is named as “nihon shishu” in Japanese is an embroidery technique which has been used from more than one thousand years back. Shishu originated in China and was eventually introduced to Japan by Korean artisans; around the same time that Buddhism entered Japan. In its early stages Japanese Embroidery was only used for decorating items used during religious ceremonies. Over time, as shishu developed its own unique Japanese qualities and characteristics, it took on a more artistic purpose. According to historians, from the early Heian Period Japanese embroidery was primarily used for decorating costumes of the Ladies of the Court. During these early stages shishu was only available to a select group (rich people) of society because it was very expensive and every one couldn’t afford such costly work. However, after a thousand years' sleep, this cultural heritage, the fruit of countless predecessors, is now available to a wider audience.

Monday, April 27, 2009

Palestinian Embroidery

Palestinian used only one kind of stitch in making embroidered dresses but the patterns and colors used for these dresses vary. The color combinations of the embroidery, the design and the color of the cloth on which the embroidery is done have specific connotations as to the specific region in Palestine where the article was made or the status of the person owning or wearing the article (in the case of women’s dresses, called thobes, the status may be a new bride, an older mother, a pregnant wife, etc.) Also, one can determine where a Palestinian woman comes from through the patterns of the embroidery on her dress and almost each Palestinian town has its own unique pattern. Palestinian embroidery is therefore not only just an art or a craft it is an integral part of the Palestinian geographical and cultural landscape. While many of the patterns used in Palestinian embroidery are designs of geometric shapes, they also include designs which were most familiar to Palestinian women as impressions of their daily surroundings. Depending on the region in Palestine, their embroidery patterns included representations of cypress tree, bunches of grapes, apple tree, cauliflower, cock, pigeon, rainbow, roses, birds, flower pot and extensive other such representations. Geometric designs were given such names as foreign moon, cow's eye, mill wheel, crab, moon with feathers, old man's teeth, bachelor's cushion, the baker's wife, old man upside down and other such creative and often humorous names. Palestinian embroidery very rarely includes patterns with any religious symbols. Despite the fact that the majority of Palestinians are Moslems even thought there have been no obvious Islamic representations in embroidery just like in other forms of art such as calligraphy.

Saturday, April 25, 2009

Turkish Embroidery

The art of embroidery belongs to an ancient tradition with roots extending from the history to the present day has traditionally occupied an important place in Turkish life. Needlework found a particularly wide range of applications, among the Ottoman Turks, especially in the court and its circle which produced embroidery of such high quality that it has all the characteristics of fine art. This is true even of terms used in the daily life of the palace, such as men's and women's garments for example robes, kaftans, underclothing, a variety of decorated headscarves, numerous kinds of headgear, such as head bangs called “kaştıbastı” and, also waist bands, belts, and handkerchiefs. The most striking examples of Turkish embroidery however, are those that were used in the furnishings of the palaces-divan and cushion covers, floor coverings known as “nihale” wall and door curtains. Embroidery however was not an art limited to the palace. On the contrary, because textiles of all kinds were so closely connected with the Turkish way of life, embroidery was produced and used at every level of society, from the rich to the poor. Whether made for a sultan or a peasant, it added color and beauty to everything from military campaign tents to the most delicate hand towel.

Thursday, April 23, 2009

English Embroidery

The craftspeople of England had a reputation for producing embroidery of the highest standard form the old times. The earliest known European embroidery comes from England are the chasuble of St Harlindis and St Relinis at Maaseik. These Anglo Saxon embroideries are dated to the mid-9th Century. One of the most famous embroideries in the world named Bayeux Tapestry is also English manufacture. The reputation of English craftspeople continued to grow until in the 13th and 14th Centuries, the English work or Opus Anglicanum had reached such heights that it was used as gifts by Kings and Popes. While embroidery remained an important craft, its next great age in England was during the Elizabethan period, when embroidery was used more in domestic and secular settings than in previous times, due to the break with the Church of Rome and the rise of various Protestant systems. The history of embroidery in England was one of great heights followed by great lows. Some of the high points included:

  • Anglo-Saxon Embroidery
  • Opus Anglicanum
  • Elizabethan Embroidery

Wednesday, April 22, 2009

Gold Embroidery Of Uzbekistan

Bukhara’s gold embroidery is a miracle of art which holds a particular place among the numerous forms of art in Uzbekistan. From the ancient times gold is one of things that make life more beautiful and brought joy to people. The value of embroidery in gold has always been greater then the fabric on which it is done. It is primarily their price of gold that converts the articles into a national treasure. The skill of the master who created things of aesthetic and material value is retained in them forever. Gold embroidery in Bukhara has a style of its own, and its best specimens came into being where the great masters found patterns which were logic in composition, figurative in needlework and performed. Despite the antiquity of gold embroidery in Bukhara, nearly all the specimens found are believed to date from 19th and early 20th centuries. No earlier articles have been found to date. There are no more than about one thousand specimens of Bukhara gold embroidery in Soviet museums, while the number of oriental robes of the 19th and early 20th centuries which are of particular artistic value.

Monday, April 20, 2009

History of Italian Embroidery

The first embroidery work-shops in Italy were opened in Palermo by Saracens about the year 1000 and soon they gained European fame. A century later other work-shops rose in Genoa, Pisa and Venice. In Renaissance, thanks to new economic possibilities that opens the trade with the East but above all to the prestigious contribution of the painters of that time that provided with the drawings, embroidery gains the preciousness of a work of art. In the 15th century Lace were originated to satisfy the new direction of fashion towards the preciousness of clothes and embroideries. Originally it was made just like the embroidery from which it derives, on already existing background with a very loose weave and to make this weave the stitches are fixed by a very thin needle and then stitch on stitch thread works itself creating a very delicate weaving. The lace can be made using needle, bobbins or crochet hooks. The refinement of the precious weaving can produce authentic works of art that maintain their own identity of working and decoration that is different from region to region.. In the 17th century one started using gold embroidery which considered as very luxurious and effective. “Filigree” technique is one of the famous embroidery pattern of Italy. Since the 19th century definition of fashion has been changed, the embroidery is oriented towards new era which is called "white embroidery" used to decorate underwear and linen.

Sunday, April 19, 2009

Su Embroidery Pattern of China

Su embroidery has the history of more than 3,000 years in the areas around Suzhou, Jiangsu Province. The craft is well known for its smoothness and delicateness. Su embroidery won Suzhou the title City of Embroidery. In the mid and late Qing, Su embroidery experienced further developments involving works of double-sided embroidering Su embroidery industry was in decline due to frequent wars in the years 1912 to1949 and it was restored and regenerated after the founding of new China. In 1950, the central government set up research centers for Su embroidery and launched training courses for the study of embroidery. This pattern gives a strong impression of folk and its weaving techniques has following prerequisites that the product surface must be flat, the rim must be neat, the needle must be thin, the lines must be dense, the color must be pleasant-sounding and bright and the picture must be even. Su embroidery products fall into three major categories costumes, decorations for halls and crafts for daily use, which integrate decorative and practical values. Double-sided embroidery is an excellent characteristic of Su embroidery.

Saturday, April 18, 2009

History of Egyptian Embroidery

Many believe the ancient Egyptians wore plain garments, or clothing. But in reality they used Garments as a background for sophisticated jewelry and played a complementary role. They used Beads, rosettes, and sequins were used to enhance the appearance of clothing’s. A rosette is an ornament made of ribbon or silk that is gathered to resemble like a rose. Beads are particularly in the form of jewelry were used throughout Egyptian culture from old times up till now, but occasionally they have been found either sewn onto cloth or woven into the fabric. In the early medieval period, embroidery became popular in the Egyptian culture.history tell that the technique which they used in royal clothing in called Applique, this method is used for the decoration of larger piece of fabric. One forms of applique was the use of different types of braid to decorate garments. Sometimes the braid had small fringes along its edges, in which case the braid was placed along the outer edge of a piece of cloth. When there were no fringes, it was usually either sewn across the cloth or down the edges. Garments were also decorated with pleats, and the oldest examples seem to be horizontally pleated dresses.

Thursday, April 16, 2009

Shu Embroidery Pattern of China

Shu embroidery is the general name for embroidery products in areas around Chengdu, Sichuan Province and enjoys a long history. Just like Han Dynasty, Shu embroidery is also very famous. The central government even designated an office in this area for its administration. During the Five Dynasties and Ten States period, a peaceful society and large demand created appropriate conditions for the rapid development of the Shu Embroidery industry pattern. Shu embroidery experienced its boom in the Song Dynasty between the years 960-1279 and got the status of first in both production and excellence. In the mid-Qing Dynasty, the Shu embroidery industry was formed. After the founding of the People's Republic of China, Shu embroidery factories were set up and the craft entered a new phase of development, using innovative techniques and a larger variety of forms. Shu embroidery is famous for its unique characteristics of smoothness, brightness and neatness. Its designs consist of incorporated flowers, leaves, animals, mountains, rivers and human figures. The craftsmanship of Shu embroidery involves a combination of fine arts, aesthetics and practical uses, such as the facings of quits, pillowcases, coats, shoots and screen covers.

Tuesday, April 14, 2009

Yue Embroidery Pattern of China

Yue embroidery is a general name for embroidery products of the regions of Guangzhou, Shantou, Zhongshan, Fanyu and Shunde in Guangdong Province. Historical records tell the story the origin of Yue embroidery in such a way that a girl named Lu Meiniang embroidered the seventh volume of the Fahua Buddhist Scripture on a piece of thin silk 30 cm long. That’s how Yue embroidery became famous around the country. The prosperous Guangzhou Port of the Song Dynasty promoted the development of Yue embroidery, which began to be exported at that time. During the Qing Dynasty, people animal hairs were used as the raw material for Yue embroidery, which made the works brighter. During the year (1736-1796) industrial organization was established in Guangzhou and in this period a large number of craftsmen devoted themselves to the craft, inciting further improvements to the weaving technique. The embroidered pictures are mainly of dragons and phoenixes, and flowers and birds, with neat designs and strong, contrasting colors. Floss, thread and gold-and-silk thread embroidery are used to produce costumes, decorations for halls and crafts for daily use.

Monday, April 13, 2009

Xiang Embroidery Pattern of China

Xiang embroidery is well known for its history, excellent craftsmanship and unique style. It is originated in central China's Hunan Province, The earliest piece of Xiang embroidery was discovered at the No 1 Tomb of Mawangdui, Changsha City of the Han Dynasty in between the era of 206BC to AD220. The weaving technique used in this was almost the same as the one used in modern times, which demonstrated that embroidery had already existed in the Han Dynasty. It was later development that the Xiang Embroidery absorbs characteristics of traditional Chinese paintings and formed its own unique characteristics. Xiang embroidery experienced its prime between the years (1644-1911). After the founding of the People's Republic of China, Xiang embroidery was further improved and developed to a new level. Xiang embroidery uses pure silk, hard satin, soft satin and nylon as its material, which is connected with colorful silk threads. Absorbing the spirit of Chinese paintings, the embroidery reaches a high artistic level. Xiang embroidery crafts include valuable works of art, as well as materials for daily use.

Saturday, April 11, 2009

History of Chinese Embroidery

Crafts work of thread (Embroidery) is considered as the folk art and has the long tradition and contains an important position in the history of Chinese arts and craft. From the ancient times in china embroidery has been inseparable from silkworm raising and silk reeling and weaving. China was the first country in the world to weave silk. Silkworms were domesticated as early as some 5,000 years ago. The production of silk threads and fabrics gave rise to the art of embroidery. Chinese embroidery really represents beautiful workmanship and executed in fine close stitches which give smooth, neat and glossy look. The embroidery is so fine that the stitches are hardly visible. The clever use of thick and thin color silk threads and a rich variety of stitches guarantees its excellent quality. in Chinese culture Embroidery work is commonly seen at weddings. Especially in a bridal chamber one can see various embroidered articles that took the bride several years to make before marriage. They consider embroidered shoe-pads are tokens of the bride's love and the pillowcase embroidered with auspicious patterns symbolic good luck are a necessary dowry. Hence Chinese had inherited traditional Chinese embroidery techniques. It also shows great richness and artistic distinction in style, design and the use of color.

Friday, April 10, 2009

Pearls Embroidery of Russia

14th- 16th centuries was considered as the boom for the pearl embroidery in Russians and this is because of their love for pearl embroidery on all kinds of clothes, from boots to hats. Archbishop Arsenii Elassonis describes the opulence of Tsaritsa Irina Fedorovna outfit (1588-1589), that included a crown adorned with gems and pearls. Surviving examples of ecclesiastical embroidery wear and rare secular items, as well as wills and other period documents also attest to widespread use of pearls in garment decoration in the Russian history. Iakunina cites wills that refer to pearl embroidered voshvy (a loose light dress with wide triangular sleeves), hats, collars, and other items. Thus, the presented headdress having the art work of pearl embroidery based tell the great stories of on surviving period examples of pearled garments and post-period examples of similar headdresses used by the ancient men and women of the Russia. But as the time pass on and artificial beads are introduced people started ignoring the pearls because they are expensive and scarce.

Wednesday, April 8, 2009

Wooden Beads

In past wooden bead making was used as exercises for trainee or as spare time work for journeymen or masters. Wooden beads are appreciated for a variety of reasons beside beauty and aroma. Some woods are prized because they are considered sacred like that of the bodhi tree, where the Buddha found enlightenment. Carpenters and carvers of different region use the most easily available species of wood for making wooden beads. The trees which provide material for creation of wood beads are olive, sandalwood, bamboo, bayong, ebony, ironwood, palm, apple, pear, and rose, to name but a few. All of these types of wood have been used for beads either because the grain of the wood is beautiful or because the wood is perfumed. Olive trees have a natural red grain that is wavy and the heart wood darkens and hardens with age to produce an elegant pattern. The heart wood comes from olive trees which are trimmed each year after harvest and the trim wood is used for decorative carvings, jewelry and embroidery. One of the famous wooden beads is that which is made up of Sandalwood because they are light both in color and weight and they have a distinctive soothing aroma. And the other is those which made up of Rosewood because it is dark and heavy and dense and its grain appears in subtle lines of black and dark brown. Rosewood beads are said to strengthen the feeling and ward away negative energy. Most striking and famous wood beads originate in the middle-east or southern Asia, but Europe is also a source of wood beads

Tuesday, April 7, 2009

Glass and Bugle Bead

The history of bugle and glass bead making proves that man has been using glass beads since ancient times. There is enough evidence that there were many sophisticated methods, including core formed and wound are being used to form glass and bugle beads in early 2340-2180 BC in Mesopotamia and the Caucasus region which are now known as Russia, later on the complicated mosaic methods were developed around 1500 BC. In Nuzi (130 miles north of Baghdad) over 11,000 beads have been found that date before the site's destruction in 1400 BC. Hence the three major Ancient Glassmaking eras started with Egyptian, then Roman, Islamic influenced Eastern Mediterranean and at the end, this industry of glass bead making went to is boom in Venice. As each of these cultures developed and prospered, so did their bead and other glass working techniques. A bugle bead is a long tube shaped bead, made from plastic, glass or metal. They can be anything from 2mm to 5cm long. The most popular bugle bead is of the length around 5 to 6mm long. These are also great for embroidery works, and can be very effective in certain types of jewelry and craft work. They're often used as flower stems in embroidery patterns, or can be used to lengthen a fringe.

Sunday, April 5, 2009


Sequins got their name from the Arabic “sikka” which meaning a coin or die. In the 13th century, the local public mint of the Republic of Venice produced 3.5 gram gold coins it produced and named it “zecchin”. The French altered the Venetian word to sequin. So In the cultures where these sequins were used, they had tradition of stitching sequins and similar coins to woman's clothing, particularly headdresses, face veils, and over the bosom and hips, in this way this ancient custom led to the use of sequined fabric and trims in modern fashion, and expanded the definition of sequin beyond coins to include this particular type of decoration. Although coins are still used as sequins in some cultures, modern sequins tend to be made of plastic. Even though they are not exactly a bead, sequins are often used together with beads in Embroidery work. They are round pieces of plastic or metal, and either have a hole in the center or to one side. They can also be either flat or cupped. The most common sequin styles are 3mm, 5mm, 6mm, 7mm, 9mm. Generally sequins are used as decorations for garments and sewn items. The ones with center holes are sewn in rows or individually for the right effect, and the sequins with a hole on the side can be used to form clusters that hang or in fringe Embroidery work. Sequins may be stitched flat to the fabric, so that they do not move, and are less likely to fall off; or they may be stitched at only one point, so that they dangle and move easily, to catch more light.

Friday, April 3, 2009

Seed Beads

"Seed Bead" is a generic term for any small bead. It is the most widely used beads, seed beads are small, round or shaped, and can be made from almost anything. The most common seed beads are made of glass or plastic, but you can also get them in wood, pearl, jet, metal and so on. There are a huge variety of sizes and shapes available, which is very confusing. Seed beads are most commonly used for loom and off-loom bead weaving. They may be used for simple stringing, or as spacers between other beads in jewelry and embroider work. As they are so small, they are perfect for decorating garments this also the reason that they can be used in almost any type of jewelry design and in most types of sewing and embroidery, larger seed beads are used in various fiber crafts for embellishment, or crochet with fiber or wire, As the beads are uniformly shaped their sizes ranging from under a millimetre to several millimetres.

Thursday, April 2, 2009

History of Beads

Beads are used the world over for many different things. The word "bead" comes from the Anglo-Saxon "biddin" meaning "to pray" and "bede" meaning prayer. The history of beads is very long. They have been used as a form of trade, and of beauty, lucky charms, and for the show of wealth and power. Bead making is a highly valued art/skill all over the world from beginning to up till now. Many skills and techniques which are being used for the formation are still hidden for us and if the method was revealed then their might be the possibility that the craftsman life might fell in to risk. Even today, some secrets are still highly valued in some countries. Some countries share the export of beads because there were only a few skilled workers And this the reason value of the beads in enormously high. Now a day with help of technological improvement manufacturer of the beads had developed new materials and techniques such as steel, cast iron, plastics and many more form of beads which are a bit economical. This enabled more people to wear jewelry and embroided clothes. As people demand more and more diversification in their jewelry and embroider patterns demand and new techniques of bead manufacturing had also increased.

Wednesday, April 1, 2009

Embroidery Patterns in Pakistan:

Pakistan appeared on the map of the world in 1947, Areas which are joined together to for Pakistan have different tradition, they speak different languages, wear different types of clothing but the only thing that binds them all is their religion “ISLAM”. This country has the blessing ALLAH that it shared borders with four countries and the names of these countries are China, Iran, India and Afghanistan. Pakistan has possessed a developed system of textile production for centuries and become famous in the world because of quality cotton produced in Pakistan. As the country has variety of tradition among its people so because of this people belong to different areas are using different type embroidery work to decorate their dresses. Some famous names and pattern of embroidery in Pakistan are Kashmiri embroidery, Multani embroidery, Sindhi embroidery and Tribal areas Sheesha embroidery work.