We like to take a trip every now and then to another area of embroidery. The embroidery world is so vast and beautiful that it is impossible to stand still in it. It makes you want to know what is next. Today, the embroidery world is encouraging us to check out a very well-praised form; Crewel Embroidery.

A form of embroidery —given birth to almost a thousand years from now—that still is very popular in the modern world. Let’s find out what Crewel Embroidery actually is.

What is Crewel Embroidery?

Crewel Embroidery is a kind of surface embroidery that is done on tightly woven fabrics with a crewel thread. Crewel Embroidery takes its name from the thread it uses called the “Crewel Thread”. It is a fine 2-ply yarn of wool that is now widely available in the market in different colors. The stitches in this particular style of embroidery are used in a huge variety.

Crewel Embroidery is a free-style embroidery; meaning that the fabric threads are not counted before embroidering. The needles used for this form are called Crewel Needles. They have a long eye (so that multiple strands can be inserted) and a really sharp point. According to tradition, this form of embroidery is done mostly on a Linen Twill. In recent times, people have started using jute and different kinds of silks and velvets for Crewel designing.

A strong and sturdy fabric is needed so that it can bear the heavy crewel design. Along with that, it does require a hoop to maintain the tension of the design. Otherwise, the design would lose its place and become distorted.


The origins of crewelwork or crewel embroidery are hard to figure out but, it is widely said that it gain prominence in the 16th – 17th century. It is said that it came from England and then moved to different American colonies.

The oldest crewelwork —The Bayeux Tapestry— dates back almost a thousand years ago. The Bayeux Tapestry has the Norman Conquest embroidered on it. It is of linen and was worked on with worsted wool.

Uses & Designs

Crewel Embroidery is a very beautiful technique and has been used in a lot of things, such as:

  • Curtains
  • Bed covers
  • Lamp shades
  • Pillowcases
  • Shams
  • Wall hangings
  • Table covers
  • Tea cloths
  • Clothing (jackets, coats, jeans, and more!)

These are just a few things to mention. Crewelwork has been extensively used by a lot of people very intelligently.

Crewel embroidery has a huge range of designs. The most commonly done designs are floral especially, different sorts of textured and colorful flowers with vines and leaves.

We absolutely love this style of embroidery because it looks so luxurious and beautiful. As people have recently started doing crewelwork on jackets and jeans, it looks so stylish. Many people have even gotten their handbags and purses crewel embroidered.

The ideas are unstoppable!

Have Fun Sewing & Embroidering!

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