Stitching for a New Fashion Trend

With the rise of various social media platforms such as Tik Tok, more trends are starting to pop up on ways to make simple clothing unique and fashionable.

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Embroidery is more than just stitches on fabric. The hobby allows a great deal of creative freedom to anyone that tries it. “[It is] theraputic, creative and social,” Carl said. “You never would have thought that would all be part of it.”

There are a variety of ways to customize clothing: painting on jeans, tie dying clothes with bleach, using sharpies to draw on plain clothing. Most of these trends originate from popular social platforms such as TikTok and Instagram. Hidden behind the shadow of these large trends are smaller ones, such as embroidery.

According to Folklore Company, embroidery is sometimes referred to as “painting with thread.” It first originated in Sweden around the ninth century, and soon spread all throughout Europe. During this time, embroidery was used to demonstrate wealth and power, especially among royal families. In current time, it is used to customize clothing by giving it lettering or colorful designs. In recent years, it has become increasingly popular for people to embroider shirts or other fabrics for themselves.

Embroidery can be done with a machine or by hand. Using a machine is the simplest and quickest way to embroider. The only thing it requires is a design to be uploaded to the machine and special embroidery thread; however, the machine itself can be expensive. Hand embroidery is less costly, but it does take more time and patience.

“It’s not an immediate thing, especially if you haven’t been developing your fine motor skills,” career and technical education teacher Laureen Carl said. “That’s why it’s harder for kids, they haven’t been practicing [but] they want to be successful right away.”

There are many things to keep in mind when starting embroidery, such as the necessary supplies. Hand embroidery requires embroidery needles, floss and hoops, as well as fabric or clothing item. 

The best thing to do before starting a design is measuring out where it is going to be on the fabric or article of clothing. One of the most frustrating things for some people is starting a pattern only to find out there is not enough room to finish it. To help even more, drawing the design out aids in understanding how much space it will take up and how much thread may be needed. Typically, a pencil is enough to sketch out a design because it won’t be visible when the stitching is complete, but for darker colored fabric a sharpie or white fabric marker may be necessary in order to be able to see the sketch.

Once the fabric has been secured in the hoop, it is important to not pull it in order to avoid disturbing the grain of the fabric. If that were to happen, the finished design would look distorted when the hoop is removed. Another tip to keep in mind is the amount of thread being used.

“When you’re using embroidery floss, it’s six strands of thread all in one,” junior Sophia Semersky said. “You have to break the threads apart and probably use only two rather than the whole thing because it might not fit through the needle [and] it gets too thick.”

Once everything has been prepared, the embroidery process can be started. It may take a few tries until it becomes easy and comfortable, but with the help of a few Youtube videos and some steady concentration, almost anyone can get the end result of a unique piece of clothing and a calmer state of mind.