Embroidery has been around for centuries, embellishing clothing, wall-hangings and tablecloths.

The stitches can be decorative or representational motifs, ranging from a pretty border to the illustration of historical movements.

LATELY, embroidery is experiencing a resurgence.

modern embroidery, what it looks like, who's doing it and how to get started, a blog post by Stitched Stories.

A recent email from retailer Anthropologie announced “Artfully Embroidered” and told me “to feel perfectly polished, slip into something stitched.”

Vogue editor Anna Wintour put embroidery on her list of 8 top trends for 2020.

And, even closer to home, I’ve seen several young people embroidering jackets, hats, jeans and more.

embroidery on clothing

Crafting and embroidery becoming more relevant

Crafting overall has been on the rise for the last few years. Industry watchers have noted increased interest in crafts like knitting, crochet, paint-pouring, and macrame.

And now embroidery joins that list of crafts that are seeing a resurgence. The Craft Industry Alliance CIA) has embroidery on their list of craft trends for 2020, citing several new books on it and the closely related crafts of cross stitch, latch hook and sashiko.

woman weaving a belt

Quarantine gave embroidery a boost

Embroidery became even more popular when the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic arrived. We found ourselves at home with more time and needing new ways to relax.

All that embroidery we’d been seeing in our social feeds–on Instagram and Pinterest and even TikTok–now became something we had time to investigate. Plus embroidery materials are inexpensive which makes this an easy technique to explore.

Many of us are ready to pick up an activity that harkens back to a quaint, pre-electronics time.

So what does “modern” embroidery look like?

There is a “fresh” take on embroidery happening currently, and it’s being referred to as “modern embroidery.”

It’s in a hoop or on your clothing or on a lampshade.

It’s the rendering of both trendy motifs (feathers, astrology, succulents) and classic ones (flower and birds).

It’s done in a style YOU love, from a mass of undulating multi-color French Knots to a stylized black outline to rich floral design.

It’s a craft. Or it’s charming home decor. Or it’s art. Take it where you will.

closeup of embroidered flowers
Photo by Nasim Keshmiri on Unsplash

Who is doing modern embroidery?

  • You can find Gen Zer’s rendering in embroidery things they find funny or entertaining–like their favorite meme.
  • Children are embroidering. With more parents responsible for homeschooling and entertaining their children, embroidery is a great activity. One of our kit stitchers told us her kids would each be working on a kit this fall for several reasons:
    • it helps with hand-eye coordination,
    • children have to read and follow instructions,
    • it’s an art project,
    • the work gives them a break from screens, and
    • it’s a project they can work on and be social with each other at the same time.”

embroidery stitches on blouses
Photo by Toa Heftiba on Unsplash

  • Those who’ve loved other crafts are giving embroidery a try. Before Stitched Stories I served scrapbookers, and many of them are now trying their hand at embroidery.
  • People of all ages are using embroidery as a way to relax at lunch, in the evening or while on vacation.
embroidery projects being worked on in the outdoors
Doris Sander is stitching on the weekend. She says: “Today marked the end of my first week back to school after this unexpected five month extended summer break. It was great to be back and now it’s great to be sitting at the start of my first weekend of a new school year enjoying the neighborhood gardens, the cicadas singing, my cats chilling on the front lawn, and my Stitched Stories embroidery sampler. I think I have mastered the French knot, and I’m quite proud of this new skill.”

You’ve got to love how portable hand stitching is. @CaptnElise paired her embroidery with podcast listening on a recent lunch (which, during the time of quarantine happens in her own back yard).

What modern embroidery looks like at Stitched Stories

At Stitched Stories, our kits are rooted in the samplers that first emerged in the 1600s. These early samplers, once completed, were evidence of accomplishment, of having mastered a set of stitches.

Like those samplers, Stitched Stories kits give you a variety of classic stitches to learn and master.

The modern aspect of our kits is in the color combinations and the updated motifs your stitches are rendering:

idealized camping scenes, napping cats, and planes pulling message banners are just of few of those motifs.

Old-school embroidery has not been forgotten. Rather, it’s modernized to appeal to and resonate with creatives today.

In past years, embroidery may have been a skill passed down through the family, but now you can master it even if you don’t have a relative to teach you.

assortment of embroidery projects from Stitched Stories shop.

What doesn’t change is embroidery’s power to give you creative and relaxing work–and even to bring you together with friends and family who share this passion.

Ready to get started? Click here to choose a Stitched Stories embroidery kit.

Embrace the season of growth and new beginnings with one of our spring-themed embroidery projects.

We've got hoop art, large format, and stick & stitch designs perfect for your spring stitching.