8 Traditional Embroidery Patterns: Inspired by the World

Embroidery has been approached in many different ways for a very long time. A lot of influences in embroidery have been developed through culture and heritage. I have rounded up eight examples of embroideries that use either techniques or motifs inspired by traditional embroidery from all over the globe!

Buckle up, we’re going on a tour of embroidery patterns and motifs inspired by different countries from around the world!

Cross stitch sugar skull surrounded by flowersPhoto via Bluprint member Laura_Aurora

Dia de los Muertos Pattern

Day of the Dead is a historic Mexican celebration to honor the memory of those who have past. Sugar skulls are synonymous with this celebration and Laura_Aurora has captured this motif in cross-stitch. That black Aida fabric certainly makes the colors pop!

Get the Dia de los Muertos Pattern.


Alphabet sampler of cyrillic letters in red with russian dollPhoto via Bluprint member Erik HOMEMADE

Cyrillic Alphabet & Folk Doll Pattern

Cyrillic is a Eurasian writing system and is used by countries such as Russia, Serbia, Ukraine and Bulgaria.  Eric HOMEMADE has developed the text into a floral beauty, sticking with traditional colors and motifs. This pattern also includes the infamous Matryoshka doll, a traditional Russian nesting doll!

Get the Cyrillic Alphabet & Folk Doll Pattern.


celtic knot embroidery in rainbow floss on turquoise backgroundPhoto via Bluprint member Scarlett Rose

Aine Embroidery Pattern

Celtic knot patterns have been traced back as far as the Ancient Romans and can be seen in history all across Europe. Scarlett Rose has developed this Aine pattern that is very versatile. The knot can be used in a whole range of colors and textures, so it could be stitched onto absolutely anything!

Get the Aine Embroidery Pattern.


Cross stitch pattern for indian themed pillow. features flowers, elephants, a peacock and the taj mahalPhoto via Bluprint member cloudsfactory

A Night in India Pillow Sampler Pattern

Bluprint member cloudsfactory has been inspired by India in this beautiful pillow sampler. Elephants in traditional dress, mandalas, the Taj Mahal and peacocks come together to form this unique and perfect pattern. It reminds me of traditional Rangoli patterns, which are created on the ground in colored sand and rice. Except unlike these temporary patterns of sand, this pattern can stay around forever!

Get the A Night in India Pillow Sampler Pattern.


blue flower in crewel work embroideryPhoto via Bluprint member Anna Scott

Blue Elegance: Crewelwork Pattern

Crewelwork is most often associated with English history and really flourished during the Jacobean period (17th Century). Anna has taken this popular and timeless embroidery style and given it a little contemporary update by using lush blue tones.

Crewelwork is great for anyone who wants to really sink their teeth into a piece of hand embroidery, with techniques that include whipping, stem stitch, long and short stitch and trellis couching – ooh!

Get the Blue Elegance: Crewelwork Embroidery Pattern.


Temari globe with dark blue background and silver and gold starsPhoto via Bluprint member Handyann

Termari Tutorial Stars Pattern

Termari are Chinese thread balls and have been in existence for over 1,000 years. They were used for handball games! Handyann has taken this ancient technique and given it a super contemporary look in this stunning star pattern. A ‘quick-to-work’ herringbone stitch is used to build up these beautiful layers of geometric pattern.

Get the Termari Tutorial Stars Pattern.


hand embroidered dala horse surrounded by a heart and flowersPhoto via Bluprint member lovahandmade

Dala Horse Embroidery Pattern

The Dalecarlian, or Dala, horse is a traditional hand-carved horse made from wood. It originated in the Swedish province of Dalarna. Historically, it is red in color with a white, green, yellow and blue harness, but these days you can find Dala horses in all different color ways.

Lovahandmade has given their Dala horse embroidery pattern a very jazzy look indeed! This would look wonderful on a whole heap of things – tea towels, t-shirts, bedding, jackets, curtains blankets…the list goes on and on!

Get the Dala Horse Embroidery Pattern.


Mini needlepoint rug with geometric patternPhoto via Bluprint member Spirit of Belarus

Spring Keys Mini Needlepoint Rug Pattern

Spirit of Belarus takes inspiration from traditional Belarusan motifs and patterns. Very geometric in their style, these translate flawlessly into cross-stitch. This particular pattern was influenced by ‘Calling for Spring’, a Belarusan ritual.

Get the Spring Keys Mini Needlepoint Rug Pattern.

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Delve deeper into the world of hand embroidery with Jessica Marquez over at our online class Design It, Stitch It: Hand Embroidery


What motif of stitch is traditional to you?

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