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The Crewel Process

The Crewel Design Creation

The Crewel Process

The crewel process begins with the creation of a design, which is carefully drawn by a skilled artist onto silicone paper. A series of pin holes are made along the whole of the design enabling this to be printed by kerosene transfer onto the fabric. Working by hand, and using a crewel hook, our artisans work together stitching the wool with intricate chain stitch into the fabric transforming the velvet, cotton, linen or organza into a truly marvelous work of art! These skills have passed from generation to generation, and over many centuries and continues to create much skilled employment for the area.

The Cotton Crewel Loomed
Artisan Craft Process

Dosuti cloth is loomed by hand, using the best quality available cotton and taking over 7 hours of work to complete each 5m length of fabric. Once loomed, the fabric is washed and dried before it can be embroidered upon. The design is then hand-stenciled onto the background cloth, whilst the highest grade Single ply or 2 ply wool is dyed in the separate colors required for the embroidery. The dyeing process for the wool needed for a single design may take up to 28 hours and then another 24 hours is required to allow the wool to dry before it can be used. When ready, the design is embroidered entirely by hand and, to add to the unique nature of the fabric, 40,000 and 80,000 stitches per meter and embroidering a single meter takes between 6 and 9 days. The fabric is then washed.

The Crewel Process
The Crewel Embroidery
Stretched, Dried and Folded before being Transported

The ancient skill of crewel embroidery continues to flourish and astound! Crewel embroidery has been used throughout the ages to create beautiful pieces of art and more practical items such as curtains and soft furnishings. One of the earliest well known examples of crewel embroidered fabric is the Bayeux Tapestry, which is alleged to have been constructed as early as the 11th century. Crewel Embroidered fabric became extremely popular in the Elizabethan and the Jacobean periods of history in England, being used for many purposes, including clothing, drapes and furnishings.

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