Crewel Work was one of the traditional hand embroidery techniques I studied at the Royal School of Needlework.
This is a surface embroidery technique in which decorative stitches are embroidered, using a fine twisted wool thread known as crewel wool, usually on a linen-twill backing fabric.
Common stitches used are split and stem stitches for outlining and padding, satin, chain, and long and short stitches, seeding, french and bullion knots and couched stitches where a thread is laid on the surface and held down by stitches sometimes forming lattices to fill an area of the design.
The design below is a modern variation of the ‘Tree of Life’ embroideries which were so popular during the 17th century when crewel work was used to decorate the home, for example upholstery and poster-bed curtains.
Stitches used in this design are:-
Leaf on top left:
Flower on right:
Padded Satin stitch
Long and Short stitch