World Embroidery Series II: a six week exploration

A Virtual Class Series

Embroidery is a technique of decoration: the use of needle and thread to elaborate fabric, materials, or objects. Practiced across time and place, this tactile artform records, displays, and celebrates culture, history, and identity. It has been a tool to respond to political, economic and social unrest. Ancient embroideries have even been discovered on every continent, further confirming the archaeology of a universal impulse. 

Our World Embroidery Series is a celebration of this transnational craft. Across six classes, sewists will encounter an astonishing array of culturally specific techniques, and will have the opportunity to learn from accomplished practicing teachers who are equally purposed in preserving these skills and their histories.

Stitchers of every level are welcome to participate in this series, learning the motifs and mechanics of six newly offered embroidery traditions from across the globe in a series designed to convey the meaning and significance of specific stitching practices. These classes will allow students to increase their skills, participate in the preservation of culture, and explore the diversity of ethnographic contributions . 

The Series

Czech Eyelet Embroidery
with Sarah Pedlow

In this class, we’ll look at the use of eyelets in Czech and Slovak traditional clothing from the 1800s– think puffed sleeves, caps, and aprons! Some historians date the first eyelets in Eastern Europe back as early as the 1600s. Open to beginners, we’ll go over a couple of stitches and how to make several different shapes of eyelets using basic embroidery tools. Sarah will talk about using an awl and a laying tool– neither of which is required. You are welcome to use a tapestry needle and embroidery scissors in their place.

September 14th, 2023

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Miao Jiaoxiu Embroidery
with Selina Ben

The Miao, an ethnic minority group living in deep mountains of the most remote areas in Southwest China, who have no written language, have been using their textile patterns to record cultural information and history for over two thousand years. In this class, Selina will walk you through the brilliant textile heritage of the Miao. She will present images of historical Miao costumes and baby carriers, talk about Miao traditional patterns and material culture. She will also discuss the changes that Miao embroidery has undergone and Miao artists’ contemporary practice.

September 21th, 2023

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with Veronica Fuentes

Stumpwork is a style of raised embroidery that was first popular in England in the 17th century. Girls were taught to sew at a very young age, an essential skill at the time. For embroidery students, the final and most challenging task was to embroider a box using raised embroidery. Traditionally the box will depict mythical or biblical scenes with castles, flowers, birds, animals, fruits, butterflies, kings, and queens. In this class, Veronica will walk you through a brief history of the technique, share some historical and contemporary examples, and explain some of the contemporary approaches to stumpwork embroidery. 

September 28th, 2023

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Punto Tagliato Embroidery
with Shahnaz Khan

In this workshop participants will be introduced to the stitches used to create these intricate “cutwork” patterns, and will have the opportunity to embroider a small motif. Shahnaz is excited to be sharing this tradition, a favorite of her Greek grandmother’s, and offers participants an opportunity to reflect on the importance of beauty in our lives, and the ways hand crafts can create connections between generations and cultures throughout the world.

October 5th, 2023

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Palestinian Thobe Embroidery
with Wafa Ghnaim

The skirt of a Palestinian thobe typically features panels, heavy embroidery that gives a mural-like quality to the skirt of the dress.  Waste canvas is the most traditional technique used to create the Palestinian thobe. In this class we will work on a Quwar,  a flower pot design from Ramallah قوار found on a Thobe from the TATTER collection. Ramallah is  well known for its flower fields, historic images from the area show women sitting in these fields embroidering  their garments. Palestinian women were known to integrate the landscape around them into stitched designs, therefore this area is also well known for floral motifs found on Thobes. In this tradition, floral motifs represent beauty and celebration.

October 12th, 2023

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Kutch Embroidery
with Shahnaz Khan

Inspired by an antique textile found while traveling in India, this class will lead students though the process of laying down a foundation using herringbone stitches, followed by an intricate pattern of interlacing. Once the basic technique is mastered, students will be given the opportunity to follow a more intricate design and  be encouraged to create their own. 

October 19th, 2023

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Czech Eyelet Embroidery – September 14th, 2023

Miao Jiaoxiu Embroidery – September 21th, 2023

Stumpwork – September 28th, 2023

Punto Tagliato Embroidery – October 5th, 2023

Palestinian Thobe Embroidery – October 12th, 2023

Kutch Embroidery – October 19th, 2023

All classes are from 12pm – 2:30pm Eastern Time*

*Participants will also have access to recordings of the live sessions in case you cannot attend. Access to these recording will be available for one month after the date of the live session.

A materials list is posted on each class page. An optional materials kit is available for purchase through Tatter here.

$60 for one class. $350 for the series.

*These sessions will be recorded. A link to the recording will be emailed to all those who register following each live session. The links are live for one month for you to watch at your convenience.

We have two scholarships available for this experience. To be considered for the scholarship please email [email protected] with some information about yourself, your making practice, and why you would like to participate.

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