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Kurbits on material

Aida cloth, homespun, canvas, cotton cloth or woolen cloth – what do you prefer to embroider on? The material we choose when we carefully do our stitches is often ruled by lust and creativity. We don't pay as much attention to the fact that it has to "become something" in the end – speaking in the term on function. When we don't have to focus on what is "should be", we become more free in our creativity. A few generations back we embroidered monograms on home made pillow cases, sheets, table cloths and towels, the room for creativity was there – but there was a main focus on function. 


Photo: Hannah Streefkerk


When we buy our bedding sheets, pillow cases and towels today, we might not stick to just embroidering on that tiny space at the bottom of the towel, or on the side of the pillow case (even if it's still very charming). We stitch on many other things, we have so many additional options. So, what can we really embroider on? 

Here are a couple of inspiring examples of how to use the stitches on other materials.

Severija Incirauskaite-Kriauneviciene is from Lituania, and she stitches on a lot of unique materials, for example car doors and shovels. She makes her own cross stitch holes, a little bit of extra work – but it looks so good!

We also have Danielle Cloughs from South Africa, she might work with a little less time consuming technique. She uses the form and squares of a tennis racket – using free stitches, but it also works perfectly for cross stitch if you are up for it.

Photo: Danielle Clough


Another great example when it comes to unique materials is Susanna Bauer from Germany. She collects fallen leafs and gives them another round of beauty using stitches – stunning!

Dutch artist Hannah Streefkerk works with the same theme as Susanna, but with a additional wish of repairing and to restore. She uses the stitches to mend broken organic material.

Photo: Hannah Streefkerk

Photo: Hannah Streefkerk

The mending and fixing is luckily growing bigger and bigger in our everyday life. We spend a lot of time repairing and up cycling our clothes. In a newly released series of books, Lappa och Stoppa, the embroiderers Katarina Brieditis och Katarina Evans shows us inspiring new ways how to up cycle worn out clothing through embroidery. 

Photo: Karin Björkquist

So get your needle and floss and cross stitch away on some new materials this spring, it might end up being something you can use in your everyday life, or something magical you didn't expect to come to life while your creativity was flowing – go for it!



Photo: Karin Björkquist

Best thing right now: The light gives me more inspiration, and it makes is easier to see the stitches.

I look forward to: A wool embroidery class I'm attending, that's coming up shortly.

/Frida Arnqvist Engström

Journalist running the blog Kurbits.nu and a hobby embroiderista with a few too many projects going on at the same time.


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