Embroidery on costume continues to be either mass-produced or, if hand worked, the exclusive preserve of the rich, usually on evening wear. 2003 saw a resurgence of embroidered clothing as it became fashionable. Imports from India and China are common but the work is usually of a low standard.
The new Millennium has seen several textile artists become recognised for innovative uses of materials and techniques., In 2002 Tracey Franklin became well know for her book “New Ideas in Goldwork”. Following her move north an “outpost” of the RNS has been created at Darlington. She has developed a reputation, not only for exquisite traditional goldwork but also for exploring the uses and effects of the threads used in an innovative way.
Innovative use of goldwork threads.
New surfaces are also explored and Gwen Hedley who exploits the textures and interest of plastics, films and usual fabrics. Often the surfaces are heated, burnt and distressed. Recent books by Maggie Grey follow a similar idea.
Bonded and heated plastics stitched. Gwen Hedley.
There are now many embroiderers who rely heavily on machine embroidery, some to the extent of using no hand embroidery in their work at all. Computerised, automatic sewing machines are used to develop designs which are often incorporated into works of art.
Computerised motif incorporated into a panel.
Water-soluble materials are now available in several types and these are often utilised - either on their own as whole panels or as added embellishments.
Panel worked on water soluble fabric
We are now bombarded with so many materials, threads and usual items to use in our embroidery that is often too overwhelming. Is not usual to see waxed glue gun motifs couched onto work, to include softsculpt elements, paper, metal or washers from a toolbox.
Glue gun motifs waxed and couched. Maggie Grey.
3D embroidery using paper and metal.
The Embroiderers Guild will celebrate its centenary in 2006. The guild continues to promote embroidery and recently ran exhibitions entitled “Art of the Stitch” and “Sample”
“Summer in Cornwall” Shizuko Kimura
Art of the Stitch 2004.
“Consequences of Proximities” Michael Brennand-Wood. Sample.