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What is Crewel Embroidery?

Author: SEO Hub
by SEO Hub
Posted: Oct 03, 2020
crewel embroidery

In this blog, you will get all the information you might need to know about crewel embroidery. Let’s dive into the topic.

No matter how the name sounds, there is nothing suspicious about crewel embroidery. In the simplest of terms, a crewel embroidery is a form of surface embroidery. It is a traditional embroidery style that has been executed for centuries.

This art is famous for its bold, large designs, and the wool threads used to manufacture them. In the past, crewel embroidery showed up of fabrics like curtains, tapestries, and other clothing material.

Nowadays, you will see such embroidery designs framed as art, stitched on towels and pillows, and more.

The Significance of Crewel Embroidery

When we talk of the different embroidery designs, the thing that makes these designs stand out is the delicacy of the stitches and the traditional motifs.

And when it comes to crewel embroidery, the material that makes it unique, specifically from the wool threads, is the 2-ply wool thread which is also known as crewel. This gives the embroidery design a whole new look.

A Brief History of Crewel

It is a bit difficult to know about the history of crewel embroidery and where it all started. However, according to some surveys, it dates back to Medieval times. And the oldest and most known crewel piece is the Bayeux Tapestry. The piece is nearly a thousand years old and was manufactured in England and given to France.

The Crewel Rose was prominent in Jacobean England in the 16th and 17th centuries. And that is why the traditional crewel often portrays the motifs of that era. In fact, Jacobean embroidery is unique in itself that in others, is usually Crewelwork.

In the 1970s, this embroidery style made an enormous comeback. The beautiful pieces featured in that era featured giant flowers, bold colours, and fun phrases. And more interestingly, you could even get stitching kits for your favourite childhood characters.

Crewel embroidery has evolved. You can easily find modern patterns and design kits and several other materials. One thing remains the same; wool thread.

Materials Used in Crewel Embroidery Threads

Getting the right thread is a good place to start. Crewel wool is usually two-ply and is labelled, but you will find one-ply is well. Unlike standard cotton embroidery floss, you wouldn’t want to separate the thread as it is much thinner than tapestry wool.

If you are lucky, you can have to dedicate needlework nearby where you can find items from a variety of brands like the famous Appleton wool from the UK. You can also find other options online.

You can even play by mixing different brands, and you will experience different textures emerging in your stitching which is quite amazing to see. It is all up to you. You can stick to one brand if you want.


The two most common fabrics for crewel embroidery are linen and linen twill. These fabrics help keep the stitches in place when opened enough for larger crewel wool to pass through as they have a close weave. They are kind of sturdy fabrics, creating a fine base for wool stitches.

The wool thread may be the thing that defines crewel, but the fabric may differ. So, if you want to try another material, have a try. Regardless of what you choose, play with a few threads before sticking to one fabric type.


Crewel needles have a sharp point and a large eye. The eye helps to pass through the thickness of the crewel wool that also includes working with more than one piece at a time. The sharp point is ideal for both piercing through the wool from previous stitches as well as working through the fabric.

These are usually labelled as crewel embroidery needles with other embroidery needles.


The good with stitches is that you can use any of your favourite stitches for crewel embroidery. The wool thread provides your stitches with an added texture and thickness. So, when you choose the stitches, play with them.

Crewel embroidery often features dimensional elements. A padded satin stitch works well in this case. Laid stitches are also a good pick for crewel artwork.


Numerous patterns are explicitly designed for crewel embroidery. However, you can utilize patterns for standard embroidery as well.

One thing to keep in mind is that the wool thread thickness makes thicker stitches when you choose a pattern that is designed for crewel. This means that patterns will not always have fine details. Patterns having large areas are perfect for crewel.


This is what you need to know about Crewel embroidery. Crewel embroidery is an old artwork and has been practised for decades. If you still have any questions about Crewelwork, you can reach out to us Migdigitizing. We will be happy to assist you.

About the Author

John is a contributor and blogger who loves to share his experience and knowledge about all there is on the internet

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Author: SEO Hub


Member since: Jul 01, 2019
Published articles: 21

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