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Crewel Work

Crewel work embroidery, which is also known as Jacobean crewel work, reached its peak in 17th century England, and was later taken to the America Colonies.

What is Crewel work?

Crewel work is a surface work embroidery using worsted 2-ply crewel worsted wool on a natural strong linen twill. It is a heavy weight embroidered technique used traditionally for furnishings such as curtains, cushions, panels, and often worked on a large scale.

Traditional Jacobean designs are based on the tree of life, and combine flowers, foliage, fruits, birds, beasts, and animals, grown from a central stem from a hillock base. Design elements are often out of proportion to each other with the design based more on balance rather than accuracy.

Surface stitches used include split stitch, stem stitch, chain stitch, seeding, couching, French knots, bullion knots, laid work, trellis work, and long & short shading to name a few.

Colours used traditionally are predominantly blues, browns, greens, and other natural shades which are generally softer tones relating to nature, and/or natural dyeing.

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