Luxury Fashion is an ever-evolving industry but sometimes, the best details come from traditional techniques, passed on from generation to generation, carrying centuries of culture and exquisite design.
Embroidery is an ancient craftsmanship technique which allows decorating fabric or other materials using a needle to apply thread or yarn. It may also incorporate other supplies such as pearls, beads, feathers, and crystals. Nowadays, embroidery is everywhere in the luxury fashion world, from caps, hats, coats, blankets to shirts, denim, dresses and stockings, but it can also be applied to furniture. This technique is available with a wide variety of thread or yarn colour.
Some of the basic techniques or stitches of the simplest embroidery used on luxury fashion are chain stitch, buttonhole or blanket stitch, running stitch, satin stitch and cross stitch. Those stitches were the first to appear and remain the essential techniques of hand embroidery today.
The process used to tailor, patch, repair and reinforce cloth promoted the development of sewing techniques, and the decorative possibilities led to the rise of embroidery art in luxury fashion. The steadiness of basic embroidery stitches nowadays is remarkable.
In embroidery’s evolution, there were no changes of materials or techniques which can be felt as true advances from a primitive to a more refined phase. On the other hand, we often find in early works a technical accomplishment and high standard of craftsmanship rarely attained in later times. That’s why the precious ancient knowledge of this art must be preserved.
The art of embroidery is found worldwide. Works in China have been dated to the Warring States period (5th–3rd century BC). In a garment from the Migration period in Sweden (300–700 AD) the edges of bands of garnish are reinforced with running stitch, back stitch, stem stitch, tailor’s buttonhole stitch, and whip-stitching, but it is uncertain whether this work simply reinforced the seams or should be interpreted as decorative embroidery.
Ancient Greek mythology stories used to tell that the goddess Athena was the protector of the embroidery and weaving arts. She later would compete for the title of the best embroiderer and weaver against Arachne, a young and beautiful mortal.
In the contemporary world, the biggest names in luxury fashion, use this exquisite technique, to craft their masterpieces. Chanel and Alexander McQueen have created many now iconic looks, inspired by the beauty and craft behind this extraordinary art form. Karl Lagerfeld, was very passionate about this design technique, using it in most of his creations.
We can’t deny that embroidery has truly left its mark in the luxury fashion world.
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