Embroidery has been around forever — the earliest surviving pieces of this craft are Scythian, dated to between the 5th and 3rd centuries BCE. Virtually every culture has some form of it in their textile art history.
As artist couple Charles and Elin highlighted, the application of embroidery is endless: add some stitches to your shoes, clothes, or bags to upcycle their look. What's that, you want to decorate your walls? No problem, embroidery can help you do that too.
"Embroidery has become our life," Charles and Elin told Bored Panda. "But not just in the sense that it's our chosen vocation; it's so much more than that. On a stressed day, pick up a thread and needle, make a couple of stitches and you will immediately feel your body and mind begin to relax. On a happy day, pick up a thread and needle, make a couple of stitches and the creative endorphins will begin to dance. Embroidery isn't just an ancient craft, it is also a modern art form where you can express visual images in a touchable medium."
And there's no place that celebrates this craft as well as the subreddit r/Embroidery. With 430K members, this online community unites all enthusiasts of the trade who want to exchange tips, techniques, resources, ideas, and to show off their greatest works, of course. At this time, let's focus on the latter.
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If you also want to stitch something yourself, the moderators of this subreddit say you have to get the basic supplies first. For hand embroidery, you'll need a hoop, a needle, fabric, and some 6-stranded embroidery floss. That's pretty much it. You do need scissors to snip your thread and a way to transfer the design to your fabric too but these are the things required to actually stitch and likely the only items you don't already have in your home.
Rachel Wright, the creator of an embroidery blog called VirtuoSew Adventures, told Bored Panda the right time to pick up the craft is whenever you feel like it. "My grandmama introduced me to embroidery when I was small, and I really got started in my teens. Because I learned mostly from books, I picked up all sorts of odd stitches and ideas, and just experimented and played."
"I tell stories in stitch — color, texture, and techniques all combine to bring my ideas to life," Wright added. "Embroidery is pretty easy to do, especially with books and videos to follow. It is much harder to do well, of course! My advice would always be, find a needle and thread, and have a go!"
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Embroiderer Ania Jakubisiak, who has been stitching stuff since she was a child but really fell in love with it only 4 years ago, told Bored Panda she has learned everything through trial and error and Pinterest. "Embroidery is my way to pay tribute to people I love, characters I admire, and relax during long studying hours," Ania said.
"It's not difficult to start. Invest in a good quality wooden hoop and try out many techniques," she suggested. "You will find the style that fits your hand and aesthetic."
A very good way to start from the absolute beginning, according to the subreddit's mod team, is to order an embroidery kit. "It will have your thread, a needle, a hoop, and a design already worked onto the fabric provided. No analysis paralysis as you stare at the 60+ shades of red, wondering which one might be the best," they explained.
"Kits also have the benefit of explaining what stitches you should be using in what section. Etsy has many kits in many styles available. Once you complete your kit, you then have a hoop and needle to use for other projects as well."
The mods also pointed out that when choosing a kit, it's a good idea to buy from and support a small business rather than purchasing off of Jeff Bezos' space fuel provider, Amazon. "Almost all of the embroidery kits on the site contain stolen patterns from other embroidery artists."