By SAVARA GUNN
As a very early form of art and expression, embroidery has been sewn on to clothing since 30,000 B.C. Embroidery was thought to have originated in Asia and the Middle East. Chinese embroidery techniques especially are still widely spread and used today.
In Japan, embroidery was used in many religious textiles rather than clothing. Europe began its use of embroidery during the Middle Ages. Its use was mostly the job of nuns and were put on priest robes, sometimes on bibles. Eventually, European embroidery transformed into the familiar floral patterns, emerged from the Tudor era, that we still see today.
By 1848, the technique had spread out commercially and entered the industrial age. In the 70s floral embroidery had made its way onto denim clothing, jackets, jeans and vests. The recent splurge of similar styles on modern clothing has a certain retro vibe.
For some, this trend is another extension of the floral fashion that was mentioned previously. “I’ve always liked floral patterns,” said Katie Burnett, “But I don’t like the embroidery that I see on jeans… They remind me of when I was little and wore denim that had embroidery of little butterflies and such.”
On the other side, some people take the time to put on patches of embroidery on their clothing themselves. One such people is Katherine Lamb, “It’s about functionality as much as it is about aesthetic… I originally stitched these on because I love these jeans but had worn a hole in one of the back pockets… I put one patch on to cover the hole and then two more on the legs to complete the look.”
Others, like Kelly Emmrich, enjoy the look because of its vintage vibes.
“I love to wear embroidery because it reminds me of my mom… When I was little she was always creating embroidered dish towels or stitching pictures from patterns,” said Emmrich. “A lot of stores this season are selling 60s and 70s style clothing, so I’m not surprised that embroidery has made such a comeback.”
Regardless of the reason for wearing it, embroidery has made its way throughout history and blossomed onto students of UMW.