Embroidery is one of the most beautiful ways of embellishing any type of fabric, whether done by hand or by using embroidery machines. Embroidery has existed for thousands of years and is considered an ancient form of art. It is still practiced by many cultures, both for traditional and aesthetical reasons. What used to take much longer to produce before the advent of specialized equipment can be accomplished much more quickly and easily today with Janome embroidery machines and similar machines. Regardless of how it is done, the history of this form of decorative sewing is as long and colorful as the thread used in embroidery.

Dating of Embroidery and Thread Embellishment

Embroidery as an art form dates to between 1300 and 600 BC, as seen in many samples of this spectacular ornamentation work done by the Greeks.  The practice itself is believed to be much older. Samples of decorative embellishment done by the Chinese using various threads and stitches dates as far back as 221 BC. Yet the idea of using thread and needle to make decorative stitching goes back as far as 30,000 BC, as evidenced in the primitive Cro-Magnon clothing samples unearthed in Russia. These samples indicate that man has been decorating clothing and other items with different threads, colors, stitches, and even bone beads for a very long time for many different reasons.

Value of Embroidered Embellishment in History

It is impossible to know the exact reason why primitive man decorated their clothing. Whether it was for aesthetical reasons, as proof of hunting prowess, or rank within the community, embroidery did eventually become associated with wealth. Over time, embroidery by the Chinese, Greeks, Babylonians, Syrians, and many other peoples was done by using increasingly more valuable thread to create valuable fabrics and garments. Some cultures, including the Sumerians, spun gold into thread and embroidered with it to create fabrics that indicated wealth and status. By the 1100's, many cultures were regularly using tiny beads in their embroidery, further increasing the beauty and value of embroidered fabrics. Embroidery and beading has also been used by these same cultures to create intricate embroidered tapestries and thread paintings.

Embroidery in Modern Times

Hand embroidery was practiced worldwide until the Victorian age, when the first machines capable of making embroidery stitches were created. Although many countries and cultures still valued hand embroidery, it soon became possible for more people to use embroidery on their garments, since creating them was not nearly as difficult or expensive because of embroidery machines.

Since the Victorian era and as embroidery machines and threads became more widely available, embroidery began to take on more meaning as an art form that anyone could do, which is how it is viewed today. There is a huge array of embroidery fabrics and threads now available; as well as many wonderful embroidery machines like Janome embroidery machines, allowing those who sew to incorporate beautiful embroidery into their projects both quickly and easily. Hand embroidery is still practiced by many to create tapestries, embellished garments, and even embroidered and beaded paintings, similar to those from times long past.

Evidence suggests that hand embroidery has been a treasured art form since ancient times; the garments painstakingly created with it have been highly prized. Anyone can now embroider quickly and conveniently with embroidery machines. Adding a touch of elegance and art to any sewing project is easy with Janome embroidery machines.There are many other machines available today to help sewers create beautiful and unique projects for many to enjoy!

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