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  • Writer's pictureAjda Zorko

Embroidery serves humanity

Updated: Sep 1, 2022

Embroidery as decoration and applied art

Arts and crafts related to embroidery, weaving, patchwork, and other types of sewing crafts are known throughout history on all inhabited continents. Often the reasons for such creation are the need to mend, repair and strengthen clothing or other functional textiles. Undoubtedly, the craft of embroidery as a decoration offered the wealthier population an additional way of showing off their higher status.

Cultural value of embroidery

Repetitive movements and the necessary concentration in this work are factors that have been proven to have a therapeutic and meditative effect on the mental health of a person who devotes their time to manual work (it can be embroidery, crocheting, knitting or other crafts, such as blacksmithing, pottery, carpentry ...). In the period following the First World War, it proved to be a good way to calm soldiers who were “shell shocked” by the horrors of war. Making embroidered motifs through sewing helped them process trauma, provided them with a small income and returned them a sense of achievement, in the form of tangible products. In the Middle Ages, especially among female nobility, embroidered gifts functioned as a political tool, for cementing alliances or provocation. The preservation of cultural traditions and the transmission of knowledge, which are intangible heritage, are passed down through generations via textile art through learning to make traditional clothes and how to decorate them.

Modern embroidery

With the rise of video content sharing, spreading knowledge about stitches, techniques, materials and tools has become widely accessible. Materials and tools have become affordable and embroidery, even among young people, is becoming an accepted way of spending time that is not necessarily tied to the use of portable devices. Due to the freedom in the choice of materials, techniques and motifs, an easily accessible and free way of expression with thread and sewing has also become a popular way of spreading political and socially critical ideas.

To start embroidering, you don't need anything but a sewing needle, thread and any piece of fabric (whether it's an old shirt or pants that need a hole patched) and the knowledge that there is no "right and wrong". The point is that we do it for ourselves, are present in the given moment and enjoy the process of making and learning as we go along.

Embroidered patches on jeans
Modern embroidery

If you enjoyed a bit of reading, stop by my insta page (@ajda_brez_veze) where you’ll get an idea for a gift, learn how to make a stitch or find some other useful embroidery information!

Ajda Zorko is a guest blogger. Her opinions do not necessarily reflect the opinions of Štikarca.


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