Embroidery, an art form also known as "thread painting" because of the resulting pictures that look painted onto fabric, has had a wide variety of applications in fashion and home adornment for thousands of years. Machine embroidery allows you to complete large works or quantities in a remarkably short span of time. Companies have created coverings and material that favor artistic decor over function in order to meet the demand of embroidery enthusiasts. You can embroider practically any fabric and make it into an heirloom to treasure for years to come.
Things for the Home
Using embroidery, you can create a living space full of your own personal touch. Embroider cushions and pillows in your living room with designs that complement the furniture color. Make cloth lampshades stand out with your own border and refined details. Place settings and napkins at your next dinner party that display intricate designs you have created. Embroider a picture that tells a story onto a tapestry to hang on your wall as art. Embroider draping and hanging curtains with a landscape that relates to the room; a specific design style works for the bedroom, while an ocean scene or seashell theme is more appropriate for the bathroom.
Things to Wear
Walking through any department store, you will see men's and women's fashions saturated with embroidery. Designs printed on garments can fade while embroidery keeps looking new; embroidery imbues the look of elegance and quality to the garment. With embroidery, you can renovate tops and shirts into something new and create unique garments. Embroider a dress with flowers in a similar color scheme, or add accents to gloves. Embroider a hat with your favorite team logo, or embroider a favorite phrase or word onto a hat or T-shirt. Embroider children's clothing, bibs, baby blankets, socks or canvas shoes. If it's fabric, you can embroider it.
Things to Give
If someone you know owns a handheld device that can shatter into a million pieces, embroider a stylish protective covering for it. Think of a polyester or vinyl laptop case as a canvas, and add designs that suit the person's taste. Embroider a skull onto an MP3 player sock or onto a cloth phone holder you made yourself. Embroider stuffed animal outfits with the names of a couple or a message for the receiver. Order bags or totes to turn into works of art or spa slippers to embroider and give as a gift.
Anya Marcot is a freelance writer for eHow and Answerbag and has been writing since 2008. Marcot has worked as a makeup artist since 1999 and now fuels her creativity with her oil paintings, watercolor paintings and writing. Marcot studied visual art at Suffolk Community College. She is attuned to level II reiki and is well-versed on many metaphysical and paranormal topics.