The Art of Making: Embroidery

Posted by: Nellie Laskow

We love the technique of embroidery because of the texture that it adds, not to mention the way color looks different in a stitched yarn as opposed to a flat print. The stitches have dimension and depth that catches the light differently and act like a pattern within a pattern. With embroidery, we can also continue the tradition of hand-done production. In our opinion, India is the best place for embroidery as they have a long history and appreciation of this craft.

Production for our embroidered fabric begins with the base fabric. Our base fabric is woven on hand looms and once finished is either screen printed or handed off for embroidery. The embroidery process can be done one of three ways – CAD, hand-guided, or hand-done embroidery.

CAD embroidery is a technique using a machine that stitches thread into the fabric without being guided.

Hand-guided embroidery is the technique of using an embroidery machine while also guiding the fabric similar to how one would use a sewing machine. A person needs to control where the fabric is being placed and how the thread fills in the shape.

Lastly, hand-done embroidery uses no machines and is a very special and laborious technique. We use it only for select designs on a smaller scale like pillows or artwork. No matter the technique, embroidery is a lot of work and production is much more involved than printed fabrics. 

The most important piece in our production in India is the workers in the factory. Often times production in India is sent out to women in small villages and you don’t always know how it’s being made or if children workers were involved. We partner with a reputable factory so we can understand factory conditions better. Our factory is ISO credited (ISO-9001-2008 and SA-8000/2008) and complies with Oeko-Tex 100. This ensures that our product is ethically produced from start to finish.

We create the artwork for our embroideries here in the studio, often pulled from Rebecca’s sketchbook. We often work with Sarah Laskow, an embellishment designer, to translate these ideas, sketches, or concepts into embroidery as it’s easier to get what you want from a factory if you have something they can replicate. Sending them something hand done makes it easier to get that hand done look by CAD embroidery.

We pitch the colors along with the designs and send off for the first round of sampling. Sampling often takes one to two rounds to get it just right. Getting each round of samples is exciting every time.

We enjoy the hand done aesthetic and textural quality embroidery brings. It makes for truly special pieces where you can feel the work and care that was involved in its production. See all of our Art of Making posts here and see our embroidered collections below.

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