No, this is not a twisted post glamourising cruelty but a musing about this season’s fad for all things embroidered and stitched. I noticed last weekend this beautifully embellished jacket and skirt on a mannequin by the entrance of a Zara store and took this photo.

It reminded me of crewel work (or crewel embroidery), a traditional and beautiful form of hand embroidery dating back to Jacobean times that uses wool to create a slightly raised feature on a linen background and thus gives a luxurious depth of texture. I discovered them a few years ago when I worked at the wonderful Tissus d’Hélène in Chelsea Harbour Design Centre (watch out for a forthcoming special feature on Helen Cormack’s boutique fabric and wallpaper showroom) through Brian Lawrence‘s collection. From subdued pastel shades to more opulent tones, crewels create a stunning splash not only for clothes but also for drapes, bedspreads, cushion covers and wall-hangings




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