Embroidery is a precious art. As early as the Middle Ages, embroideries with silk, gold or silver threads adorned court clothings or furniture of princely residences and liturgical ornaments. Today, it is used to create contemporary or traditional pieces, but also to restore the heritage related to this savoir-faire.
Some embroideries were considered as genuine needle paintings. These creations were pieces of art resulting from the collaboration between a painter, a model supplier and an embroiderer.
In L‘Art du brodeur, a French book published in 1770, Charles-Germain de Saint-Aubin defined embroidery. He described it as “the art of adding on a manufactured fabric’s surface, the representation of any desired objects, flat or in relief; in gold, silver or shades of colours”. Embroidery is both a meticulous technique and an ornament applied to woven fabrics.
Embroidery tools are simple and old-age. There are needles, pins, a thimble, scissors and scales.
Prepping the design or pattern is the basis of embroidered work. Before handling the needle, the pattern is transferred to the fabric which serves as a support. It is then covered with silk and metallic threads. Support materials can be wool, linen, silk, but also net or leather. An embroiderer normally prefers cotton and/or silk threads, but gold and silver threads are used for luxurious pieces. Sequins, precious stones, or pearls are also used to realise such delicate and sophisticated pieces.
Embroiders have their own style but applied the same traditionnal techniques resulting from a long and strong trainee. It is the case of Sylvie Deschamps, an embroidery master of art. Her speciality is the French word cannetille. This technique consisted in winding a gold or silver spangle to create a spring.
Alexandra Latour applies embroidery to denim through her brand La Veste en Jean. She came out from the biggest embroidery workshops with the conviction to create her own workshop and her own ethical brand. With all her team, she wishes to bring the recycled jeans to a luxury position.