5 Hand Embroidery Techniques That'll Take Your Craft to the Next Level

stumpwork embroidery

While there are a slew of beginner embroidery projects you could tackle right this second, what about when you want to expand your horizons? These techniques go way beyond basic stitches and materials for a whole range of gorgeous textural effects. Your projects are about to hit a new high.

1. Goldwork

goldwork embroidery flower

Goldwork embroidery is just what it sounds like, and it’s oh-so-rewarding for anyone craving a glamorous look. Goldwork was traditionally used for high-end affairs (think coronations or religious ceremonies), but these days you’ll also see the style popping up on cool insect projects and other trendy, eye-catching designs.


2. Crewel Embroidery

crewel embroidery on pillows

This distinctive style uses notice-me wool thread instead of traditional delicate floss (this is the crux of what makes it crewel). Because it’s a heavier style of stitching, you’ll often see it used to embellish chair cushions, decorative pillows or ottomans.


3. Ribbon Embroidery

ribbon embroidery

It may be a vintage technique, but that doesn’t mean ribbon embroidery is out of date — many modern embroiderers love using ribbon because, well, who wouldn’t want to use something so pretty? Plus, it’s a fun way to stitch textural designs, whether on a simple jewelry case or a sophisticated piece of wall art.


4. Bead Embroidery

hand embroidery with beads

If you’ve got beads lying around the house (maybe from jewelry making?), you’re in luck. All the basic embroidery stitches you likely already know can be adapted to carry beads, giving your projects a whole new level of texture and glitz.

5. Stumpwork

stumpwork embroidery flower

Also known as raised embroidery, stumpwork includes a whole bunch of techniques that quite literally raise your project off the surface of the hoop. Simple versions of these multidimensional designs are all over Instagram; these lessons show you how to take the trend even further.


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