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Needles will learn ya!
By Julie Lain
What do hats, blankets, and denim have in common? If you happened to guess that they’re all some of the most common materials embroidery is used on, you’d be right. This art form is crafted in a variety of different colors and patterns and uses decorative materials like pearls and beads as well. And though you probably never thought twice about those sequin designs on your jeans, there’s actually a history behind them that dates back many centuries.
Embroidery is thought to have been around since around 3000 B.C., about as long as clothing itself, when someone figured out you could create designs on fabric with thread and fur. Later, this method of decorating became very popular in many ancient societies such as that of medieval Islam as it was used to signify high social status. Fancy patterns were sewn on handkerchiefs, shoes, and even horse trappings. In medieval times, some craftsmen even used silver or gold on their fabrics!
The embroidery industry was revolutionized in the 1800’s when the first free-motion embroidery machines were manufactured. These were used to attach logos and monograms to business apparel as well as many types of household linens. Then in the 1990’s, computerized embroidery machines became the new go-to for the industry as prices decreased and stitching was made much easier and more efficient. Today, most businesses use this method of embroidering for their products.
Who knew the practice used to make those ugly Christmas sweaters had such a long history?