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This type of embroidery is age old Back to the 13th century the word crewel can be found in the English records. It is thought to have come from the east of Egypt, than to France and Rome, where it traveled with the Roman conquests. Crewel by definition, is the application of a variety of stitches to the surface of fabric, following a design applied to the fabric.
Designs range from the traditional to the more contemporary patterns. The most traditional design features a style known as the Jacobean style. It features floral and animal motifs, with vines and leaves twining about. Crewel embroidery uses a variety of stitches, including satin, long and short, chain, French knot and vine stitch.
Kashmir has age old tradition of skilled crafts mostly done by hand. It has a unique grace and elegance especially crewel embroidery.
It carefully highlights uniformity and consistency in stitches with fine thread knots. It is mostly done with chain stitches with delicacy of details, the motifs are generally floral, tree of life, birds, geometrical and animal motifs etc.
Crewel embroidery in India
In India, crewel embroidery has been a timeless art, mostly done by skilled craftsmen in the valley of Kashmir. The elegant art form specializes in uniform and consistent stitches done patiently with fine thread knots.