Why is Crewel so sought after?
Crewel embroidery has been a timeless art, mostly done by skilled craftsmen specializes in uniform consistent stitches done patiently with fine thread knots.
Crewel embroidery is essentially a child of landscape and bountiful nature and is, therefore, as varied in its richness, as superb in its beauty. The embroidery designs are so overwhelmed by nature’s riotous beauty that they are caught up in its alluring embrace. The floral motifs with their inexhaustible display of colours, variegated birds, luscious fruits, majestic trees and wild scenes all find a place in crewel embroidery. Stunning designs, glowing colours and lavishing patterns are the essential attributes of this form of embroidery. It is known under three different names – Crewel, Chain stitch and Ari work.
Crewel work has a rich history, stretching at least as far back as the early medieval period. Influenced by exotic flora and fauna, this form enjoyed popularity in the Jacobean era, in Europe and America during 17th and 18th centuries. With elaborate designs and patterns, this art was common during the reign of King James I of England in the late 1500s.
All these shapes and colours are naturally reflected in the crafts of the areabs surrounded by so much of nature’s bounty the craftsman does not have to look elsewhere for his designs. Among the birds kingfisher is a great favourite followed by the magpie, the parrot, the woodpecker and the canary. The designs are always evenly balanced and even show numerous flowers, leaves, fine stems and curving stalks, a sense of restraint is always evident keeping the decoration well under control and never allowing it to overflow the boundaries of good taste. Shades of red, pink, blue, yellow, mauve, green and white are used but these reflect the natural colours of the objects depicted and are always subtly blended to avoid garishness.