Beaded Beauty: Embellished Embroidery

Glass Beads, Embroidery EmbelishmentBead work has been used for personal adornment in most cultures for thousands of years. Archeologists found that beads were made and used as far back as 5,000 years ago. Beads were often fashioned from seashells, seeds, broken eggshells or other items found from nature.

12th century church vestments from Germany reveal the use of beads and gemstones on ecclesiastical garments. By the 16th century European embroidery work had become more extravagant, as it had in other cultures around the world.

Elizabethan household and costume embroidery was renowned for its use of ornate gold and silver threads as well as pearls and gems. Embellished embroidery work, employing elaborate threads and beads continued to flourish through the 1700’s. Bead embroidery was found on everything from baskets and dresses to home furnishings and other items.

Glass beads have been in use for almost five centuries in the Americas. Though bead work in America is often associated with Native American art, the beads used were often imported from Europe and Asia.

Modern bead work is mostly a hobby used to create jewelry, purses and other crafts. Beads and gemstones are available in a variety of designs, sizes, colors, and materials, encouraging more creativity and customization among bead artisans and projects.

Whatever its origins, beadwork has been a popular art form throughout the ages. From beaded saddles of 16th century Turkey, to the ornately detailed beaded and gemmed gloves of the 13th century Holy Roman Emperor, it’s clear that beading was an important part of embroidery and embellishing clothing.

Embroidery embellished with beads and gemstones can still be found on ornamental clothing and home furnishings today. A popular clothing trend employed today is to use ornate stitches and gemstones on the pockets of denim jeans. Additionally, decorative embroidery is often used to create personalized gifts for friends and family.

Here at Stitchin' Chicks, we use only the best gemstones for our embroidery business.  Using Swarovsky Crystals, we can create a unique and attractive design on your item of choice.  Contact us today for a quote!