What is crewel embroidery?

What is crewel embroidery

Embroidery is an art of color floss threads stitched together to form different beautiful patterns on fabrics. Best embroidery machines have made this art convenient for many people. That is why several people are pursuing this centuries-old hobby as a profession.

Crewel embroidery name seems a bit odd, but it is a magnificent form of embroidery which dates back to many centuries. It is a traditional and stylish form known for its bold and incredible designs and wool threads to create them.

With time, we can find crewel embroidery on tapestries, curtains, and different fabrics. Nowadays, you will find crewel embroidery in framed art and pillows with their incredible designs. In this article, you will find what crewel embroidery is and how you can get started with it.

Crewel means:

The crewel embroidery dates back to medieval centuries, and so does the term. Crewel itself is used to refer to two-ply wool yarn. That’s why many embroidery experts say that crewel embroidery is based on using yarn, so it is named crewel embroidery.

What’s the difference?

Embroidery is versatile art, and there is no difference between stitches of crewel embroidery or the second type of embroidery. Yet, few things separate one from the other, like embroidery has unique stitches and traditional motifs. Likewise, filling stitches, lattice patterns, and use of 2-ply wool thread.

Many traditional crewel designs make it unique and different from traditional embroidery. For instance, many crewel traditional designs have a large surface that is filled with stitches. That is why the types of stitches that are stitched quickly are considered very useful.

Likewise, embroidery has been subject to many innovations and has turned into a skilled profession. You can now design and create incredible embroidery in fabrics with the help of the best embroidery machines available in the market.

You must use 2-ply wool thread; otherwise, it will look like hand embroidery in a different style. Also, the use of yarn/wool thread has given it the name of crewel embroidery.

How does it work?

If you are looking for how to create a beautiful crewel on fabrics, worry not. We’ll guide you in detail about everything you need to know.


The first thing to get started is the required materials. You may need five things to get – here are the details:

  1. Threads:

You need wool yarn to start your stitching, as it is the one thing that makes it different from machine embroidery. Crewel embroidery is done by hand, unlike the other one where you can use the best embroidery machines for convenience.

Crewel wool is readily available in the market, and it is written over it crewel wool. It is 2-ply wool, but there are also few available in one-ply. You may need to separate embroidery threads in standard embroidery, but in crewel, the process is not needed. The wool used in crewel embroidery is thinner than tapestry wool.

When you get started, try to use yarn from one brand like Mary Maxim because there is a difference in quality and colors in different brands. The difference is slight, but once your pattern is complete, you will feel uneven texture which might look odd.

  1. Fabric:

As you have to use the wool yarn only, so the fabric that keeps close weave is best. Linen twill and line are the best fabrics that are used in crewel embroidery. Both fabrics keep stitches in one place and also open for large crewel to pass through efficiently.

  1. Needles:

Not all needles are fit for crewel embroidery – that is why you may need a large eye and sharp point needle that can allow the wool to pass through easily.

  1. Design:

You can use the same designs as you use in standard embroidery; the only difference here is choosing large designs. Intricate designs are hard to handle in crewel embroidery.

  1. Stitches:

You can use any stitching style you want as standard embroidery. Ensure you are using the style that fills the design quickly as it is not tiny in size.


Crewel embroidery is an elegant and traditional form of embroidery. You can beautify your home with unique and beautiful designs and increase the aesthetic value of your home. For more articles related to machines you can also visit

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