Embroidery or decorating fabric or other materials with needle and thread dates from ancient times and dates back to more than 3000 years B.C. It is probably the first form of art. Originally it was used to patch, mend and reinforce cloth.
As a medium it transcended through times preserving folk techniques and traditional motifs.
Ancient Egyptians used sophisticated embroidery with white threads on a white canvas very difficult to recreate today even with modern technology.
Another type of finest quality was the Chinese silk embroidery, known as the two-sided embroidery. It is amazingly intricate and it takes years of hard efforts to complete.
Also famous is the "raised" embroidery, practiced in the 16th century. It is better known as the Elizabethan embroidery. It involved stitching decorations like butterflies, leaves and other beautiful designs with the usage of wool, leather and wood padding.
Interestingly, in the past, elaborately embroidered clothing, religious objects, and household items were a mark of wealth and status in many cultures including ancient Persia, India, China, Japan, Byzantium and Medieval Europe.
However, with the development of modern machines, embroidery has become accessible to everyone, and today its attractiveness is neither diminished nor obliviated and it is perfected to the state of being art.
On the topic of embroidery, just this weekend I bought myself this gorgeous blouse. At first I hesitated thinking that the lace and the needle stitched roses are too much, but in the end I couldn't take it out of my mind and I knew it had to be mine.
For more swooning embroidery, check out my board here