EMBROIDERY, the art of producing ornamentation by means of needlework on textile fabrics, leather and other ma terials. Embroidery is closely allied to lace-work, which is the direct develop ment of the cut, drawn, and embroidered linen of the classic and early Christian periods. Embroidery pure and simple does not admit of appliqué, which, in conjunction with embroidery, forms a separate art in itself; nor should it be confused with tapestry work, which is to weaving what lace-work is to embroid ery. Embroidery has had many schools and styles, but it may be classed under six general heads : 1. Linen embroidery, embracing all work done on linen or cotton in threads of the same color as the textile, and where the ornamentation is dependent wholly on the fineness of the needlework and the form of the design for its beauty. This work includes cut work and drawn work, to the point where netlike inter weaving of the embroidery threads be comes lace.
2. Linen embroidery in color.—Linen and cottons are embroidered in colors with either silk, cotton, or wool. This includes most of the Oriental work, where the colored design produces the ornament, and fine needlework and for more secondary considerations to the disposition of color. This work in fine
wool reaches its highest excellence in the India shawls, which are the nearest bond between embroidery and weaving.
3. Gold and silver embroidery, in which threads and spangles are sometimes used in addition to the metal threads. The Italians and Spanish of the 16th cen tury, and the Orientals (notably the Japanese), Pave done much in this class of work.
4. Silk, gold and wool.—This reached its highest excellence in the ec clesiastical embroideries of Europe in the 15th and 16th centuries.
5. Silk and wool embroidery on coarse canvas, where the foundation textile is entirely hidden by the regular inter woven stitches. This work often so nearly resembles certain tapestries as to cause confusion in distinguishing them.
6. Modern imitations in coarse mate rials of the fine work of the past, and the development of those imitations known variously as crewel work, tapestry work, etc.