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Crewel Work: What’s It All About? [Tutorial Videos]

Crewel Work: What’s It All About? [Tutorial Videos]

Crewel work is a historic form of hand embroidery that uses traditional needlework techniques to produce beautifully stitched designs. If you’re an avid Create & Craft viewer, you’ll fondly know of the Crewel Work Company. This family business is run by embroidery specialist, Phillipa Turnbull, and her daughter Laura — both of which share a lifelong passion for crewel work. Their aim is to preserve historic embroidery techniques, keeping them thriving in the modern age. For this reason, Phillipa and Laura have filmed a series of in-depth tutorial videos to show you how.

“We take seriously the integrity of hand embroidery as an art form equal to any other. Its deep and direct connection to the past is a source of constant inspiration as we forge new connections with embroiderers all over the world. Our aim is to derive happiness and enjoyment from needlework through shared experience and to ensure it survives for the next generation.”

1. Wool Threading

Sometimes the most simple things can be the most confusing if you don’t know how. Watch Phillipa as she shows you how to correctly thread your wool in preparation for stitching.

2. Seat/Hands-Free Frame

Confused by seat/hands-free frames? Phillipa demystifies this handy embroidery tool.

3. Laid & Couched Work

Watch Phillipa demonstrate Laid & Couched Work on her “Feathers” Crewel Work Beginner Kit.

4. Long & Short

Next, she demonstrates Long & Short as ‘soft shading’ in two colours on her “Feathers” Crewel Work Beginner Kit.

5. Stem Stitch

Learn how to produce the ‘stem stitch’ — perfect for curvy plant stems. Phillipa demonstrates on her “Feathers” Kit.

6. French Knots

The French knot is an essential embroidery knotted stitch to know, enabling you to create small knots. Learn how to complete this stitch using the “Feathers” Crewel Work Beginner Kit.

7. Tulip Stitch

Watch how to create the tulip stitch. Phillipa works this on her “Running Hare” Crewel Work Intermediate Kit.

8. Seeding Stitch

Add texture to your designs with the seeding stitch — a simple filling technique commonly used in embroidery. Learn how to complete this stitch on the “Running Hare” Intermediate Kit.

9. Satin Stitch

Great for filling in embroidered areas, the satin stitch is another great technique to know. Learn how to produce it by following Phillipa working on her “Wordsworth Cuckoo” Crewel Work Intermediate Kit.

10. Fly Stitch

Create spectacular embroidered effects with the fly stitch! Phillipa demonstrates this ‘Y’ shaped crewel technique on her “Glamis Rose, Crown & Thistle” Crewel Work Advanced Kit.

11. Long & Short in Multiple Colours

If you’d like to produce soft shading in more than two colours, Phillipa shows you how with her “Glamis Rose, Crown & Thistle” Advanced Crewel Work Kit. This tutorial builds on what you learned in “Long & Short”.

Let us know your thoughts, feelings and opinions in the comment box below! Are you a Crewel Work fan?

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