Different Types of Embroidery: Features and Uses

Different Types of Embroidery: Features and Uses

Shubham Anil Jain
Aditya Birla Fashion and Retail Limited
Bangalore, India
Email: shubhamajain125@gmail.com


Embroidery is defined as craft or art of decorating fabric with the help of thread and needle. Nowadays, it is found that embroidery techniques are used for showcasing custom artwork, names and logo designs of the organizations, companies, clubs and other businesses. There are many types of machine-driven and custom embroidery methods for example counted thread embroidery, whitework technique, candle wicking embroidery, shadow work embroidery and many more. A general feature of embroidery is that the simple techniques or stitches of the earliest work such as chain stitch, buttonhole or blanket stitch, running stitch, satin stitch, cross stitch, remain the primary techniques of hand embroidery today.

types of embroidery

Various Types of Embroidery and Its Features:

1. Surface embroidery:
This is mentioned to as any type of embroidery, where the pattern is performed by the use of different decorative stitches and laid threads on top of the base fabric. That simply means stitch is worked on the surface of the cloth.

Surface Embroidery
Fig: Surface embroidery

2. Goldwork embroidery:
When gold embroidery is considered, it is an art of embroidery where metal threads are used. The main aim of utilizing metal wires is to make the threads have never been entirely gold; there has always been used gold-coated silver.

Goldwork Embroidery
Fig: Goldwork embroidery

3. Red work embroidery:
This embroidery is worked in red thread on white or natural color fabric. This type of embroidery is very famous in surface embroidery and cross-stitch.

Red work embroidery
Fig: Red work embroidery

4. Crewel embroidery:
Crewel embroidery, which is also known as crewelwork particularly uses wool fibers and yarns for the thread, but it manages the same types of stitches surface embroidery uses. In this embroidery work there is more texture and dimension to it because the wool thread is thicker than cotton thread that is generally used with embroidery.

Crewel embroidery
Fig: Crewel embroidery

5. Cross stitch embroidery:
This embroidery technique uses aida fabric, which is a stiff even-weave fabric with holes in it. It uses lines of cross stitches and sometimes back stitches and is formed on a grid or graph format. It is a type counted thread embroidery form, which is less free form than hand embroidery. The feature of this is the pieces are more uniform looking because of the even-weave fabric, and the stitches are purely even.

Cross stitch Embroidery
Fig: Cross stitch Embroidery

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6. Drawn thread embroidery:
It uses even-weave fabric and is also a form of counted thread embroidery. Particular section of the rows of thread in a piece of fabric are cut or “drawn out” and then it is reworked into the fabric, leaving holes. Groups of threads which are left then stitched or woven together to form detailed patterns.

Drawn thread embroidery
Fig: Drawn thread embroidery

7. Stumpwork embroidery:
When this type of embroidery is concerned, it is more three-dimensional. There are different types of raised embroidery stitches that are used for this style of embroidery to put depth and texture to it. Here, wire is generally used to create elements that literally pop off of the fabric.

stumpwork embroidery
Fig: Stumpwork embroidery

8. Ribbon Embroidery:
Ribbon embroidery particularly uses silk or satin ribbon to decorate the fabric. This style of embroidery is different and extra ordinary because it is more 3 dimensional and is a beautiful way to embroider various flowers. One can use a variety of normal surface embroidery stitches but there are also some extra techniques for folding and positioning the ribbon that is unique to this type of embroidery.

Ribbon embroidery
Fig: Ribbon embroidery

9. Aari embroidery:
The name of this embroidery originated from the hooked, sharp needle that is used for this type of technique. The very image of finery, the Aari embroidery is designed by using a hooked needle to create a chain stitch loops, often using beads and sequins for embellishments. With purely intricate designs inspired by nature, Aari stands apart in its richness.

Aari embroidery
Fig: Aari embroidery

10. Gota embroidery:
This embroidery technique is born in Rajasthan and uses zari from Lucknow to trace elaborate patterns, creating various surface textures. When used with kinari work, Gota embroidery was generally done with gold and silver wires of different lengths woven in a satin or twill weave. Different fabrics such as georgette or bandhini are chiefly chosen upon which the Gota is appliquéd by hemming or back stitching. When the motifs of nature are used, Gota embroidery gives a graceful and royal impression.

Gota embroidery
Fig: Gota embroidery

11. Phulkari embroidery:
It is mentioned in the folklore of Heer Ranjha, that, phulkari embroidery initiated from a rural embroidery tradition in Punjab. The base cloth used is dull, maybe handspun khadi, which is then entirely covered with bright colored embroidered design leaving no gaps in between. Previously chosen khaddar is being simply replaced by fabrics such as georgette, chiffon, and cotton and along with hand-embroidered clothes, and cloth made on machine where this style more accessible.

Phulkari embroidery
Fig: Phulkari embroidery

12. Kashmiri embroidery:
This embroidery gets its name from its birth place, Kashmir. It is also known as Kashida embroidery, the cloth used for this embroidery is woven and embroidered by the members of the same, often extended, family. Dark-colored woollen clothes are basically used for winter, light (and bright) colored cotton clothes for used simply for summer, upon which base patterns are created. Kashmiri embroidery is on demand among women, especially in winter.

Kashmiri embroidery
Fig: Kashmiri embroidery

Application of Embroidery in Garments:

  1. With the help of simple stitches one can make the beautiful modern pillow for the sofa or favorite chair.
  2. A simple way to use small embroidery motifs is to sew them into different patches and pins. These good little pieces can be either temporarily or permanently hooked to jackets, bags, and more.
  3. One can use the fabric scraps and sew some of the adorable pincushions. These kind of useful items like this are quick to embroider and have the benefit of seeing the stitching work every time you go to sew.
  4. Embroidered T-shirts are always in demand but it requires some specific steps to do it well and correctly. To make it attractive one can add small designs coming out of pockets or large patterns that nearly fill the whole front.
  5. Cloth napkins are found good for the environment and decorating them with embroidery makes them more special. One can make the own napkins with squares of fabric, sewn with a hem, or buy some pre-made.
  6. With just a little bit of embroidery one can make this gorgeous fob to hang on the scissors.
  7. Adding embroidery to jeans or a denim jacket is a good way to customize the wardrobe and show off the stitching skills. One can keep it as simple as a few small designs on a pocket or as bold as covering the back of a jacket.

Currently, embroidery in India has come a long way ahead. As fashion era and style changed with time, Indian Embroidery changed to the new climate and coped to remain graceful and sophisticated. It is found that, each embroidery technique has its own specialty, one thing is by sure that, each one of them makes a serious and prominent style statement. Hand embroidery or surface embroidery is the best way of embellishing the fabrics or garments with embroidery stitches (i.e. back stitch, running stitch, satin stitch, the list goes on and on.) This is one of the most common and famous forms of embroidery that people do these days.


  1. What Are The Different Types Of Embroidery Techniques? https://www.frontend.ink/what-are-the-different-types-of-embroidery-techniques/blog/
  2. https://www.needlenthread.com/types-of-hand-embroidery
  3. What are all the Different Types of Embroidery?, https://crewelghoul.com/blog/types-of-embroidery/
  4. https://www.yourlibaas.com/blogs/fashion/10-traditional-embroideries-of-india
  5. https://garmentsmerchandising.com/types-of-embroidery-used-in-garments/

You may also like:

  1. Different Types of Embroidery Threads with Advantages and Disadvantages
  2. Parameters of Sewing Thread and Embroidery Thread
  3. Embroidery Cost Analysis and Pricing
  4. Phulkari Embroidery: Origin, Types and Techniques
  5. Overview of Zardozi Embroidery in India
  6. Different Types of Embroidery Machines and Their Functions

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1 thought on “Different Types of Embroidery: Features and Uses”

  1. Well, I’ve stumbled upon this quirky vintage jacket at a thrift store, and it’s begging for some personality. So, I’m itching to hunt down some cool custom embroidery designs to make it truly one-of-a-kind. It’s so interesting to me how with the use of thread and a needle, embroidery is the craft or art of embellishing cloth. Nowadays, you even said that embroidery techniques are discovered to be employed for displaying original artwork, company names, and logo designs, among many other things.


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