Introduction to Crewel

Once upon a time, crewelwork was a form of surface embroidery beloved for its beautiful wool threads, glorious textures and intriguing designs. In Early America, crewel was worked on plain weave linen with a handful of colorful wool, while in England,  Jacobean crewel found its home on sturdy linen twill with a wider spectrum of hues. I have loved them both, especially those quirky and exotic motifs that found their way into the bed hangings and chair covers of the 17th and 18th century.  But what should come along but the 21st century, with its abundance of wool yarns, silks, and overdyed threads. The thought of mixing the traditional designs with those subtly dyed strands was too intoxicating.  And thus, New American Crewel was born, a renaissance of traditional design brought to life with a palette of luscious threads, newly dyed. Join me for some sensational stitching adventures as you discover just how exciting the rebirth  of a  marvelous old art form can be!

About our crewel kits

Our credo has never changed – use only quality materials.  Scottish linen twill, Graziano and Ulster linen form the backgrounds for our designs. Our “thread of choice” is Heathway Crewel, the happy result of finding a dyemaster who understands that only perfectly spun wool and exacting color standards will produce consistently good yarn.

To that we have added Pearsall’s Silks, the finest stranded filament silk manufactured today, and Gumnut Poppies, an intriguing variegated silk/wool thread from Australia.  My inner embroiderer tells me those stitchers back in the 17th -18th century are really peeved they didn’t have these fantastic choices!

All kits come with fabulously clear four-color instructions and an expertly written Stitch Guide that features stitch explanations larger than the thumbnail “how-to” seen in so many offerings.

Best of all, if you need more stitching advice or run short of a color, help is just an email away! We are always glad to help you.