Think embroidery is old-fashioned? Here’s why needlecrafts, crewel, and other nifty stitches are making a comeback, and how to decorate your home with them.
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Needle crafts may seem like a throwback to the Victorian era—and pretty much the exact opposite of the way you’d like to decorate your home today. But we’re here to tell you that embroidery, crewelwork, and other nifty stitches are worth investigating again.
These looks are actually making a resurgence in part because people are getting tired of mass-produced, big-box home decor that has been dominating the market.
“Needlework shows more personality, less uniformity, and it matches the hot trend of self-expression,” says Drew Henry of Design Dudes.
Yup, the maker movement is on the rise, and it also dovetails nicely with grandmillennial style.
“Today’s embroidered textiles give the impression of hand manipulation, which is all the rage with younger buyers, because they’re both nostalgic for granny’s precious work but also have a modern, sassy twist to them,” says Jana Platina Phipps, a trimmings designer who’s known as “The Trim Queen.”
Intricately designed needle crafts were once status symbols in ancient Asia, the Middle East, and Europe (think wedding dowries). Nowadays, the looks can be added to the home in the same way you’d use other patterns. Typically table and bed linens would sport embroidery and cross-stitch, but now these designs can be found on a wide spectrum of home goods.
So whether you’re a fan of elaborate floral designs or you want to embrace a hipper vibe, there are loads of stitched accessories and furniture on the market. For some inspiration, here are eight to try.
1. Embroidered lampshade
A stitched lampshade can take your light from ho-hum to wowza in an instant.
Henry recommends this particular light topper ($158, Anthropologie) because of its textured, hand-crafted look.
“It also feels superfun and not too stuffy,” he adds.
2. Clever needlepoint samplers
To make needlework feel updated in the home, look for hipper takes on this classic craft, like the one above ($31, Etsy).
“I see a lot of needlepoint with woke or slang sayings, which is a really fun juxtaposition,” says Henry.
3. Embroidered duvet
Delicate bird and branch designs plus a gentle price make this bedding combination a clear winner ($67.82, Overstock).
Worried about creating a too-precious granny look?
“Modern embroideries are so artistic today—and they offer texture and an artisanal vibe too, so use multiples that don’t match and it’ll feel more authentic,” notes Phipps.
4. Crewel throw pillow
Crewel, a type of embroidery made from wool thread, “adds more texture than other needle crafts and feels a little more modern,” says Henry.
Phipps also favors crewel, explaining that crewel’s “contemporary designs are so three-dimensional, some even look like sculpture.”
The autumnal palette and wavy lines make this pillow a worthwhile pick ($127.99, Wayfair).
5. Crewel curtain panels
Some stitched pieces are literally works of art, as seen in these curtain panels produced in Kashmir ($250, Amazon).
Custom sizes can also be ordered as well as your own designs for more personalized embroidery.
6. Embroidered tape trim
Crafty homeowners will leap to include gorgeous trim on table linens, drapes, and other accessories. Adding this embroidered ribbon is an easy and inexpensive way to try out a needle craft ($4 per yard, Etsy).
7. Embroidered quilt
This comforter’s inspiration comes from Suzani, a type of traditional embroidered material that’s been made for many hundreds of years in parts of the Middle East and Asia ($358, Serena & Lily).
8. Embroidered chair
These fabulous embroidered chairs are destined to be an heirloom down the road ($1,500 for two, Etsy). Try this occasional chair as an accent in your foyer, living room, or large master bath.
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