Fabric Surface Embellishment Techniques

In sewing and crafts an embellishment is the action of adding anything decorative items through the use of the visual arts.

Fabric surface embellishment:
Fabric embellishments are the ornamentation that normally added to fabrics to make them more beautiful and gorgeous, because of the nature of decorative patterns, which they create. Different kinds of surface design techniques are used for embellishing the fabric. Most common materials that can be used for this process include fringe, boutiques, beads, and buttons

Different Embellishing Techniques:

Surface embellishment:
Surface embellishment is an important component of free form; it is a great way of bringing your personality, style and skills to your work and putting your own stamp on your project. In fashion designing, there are 1000’s of ways to embellish fabrics, garments and any other items.

Textile embellishment:
Textile embellishment can take many forms, with pattern work following the suggestion of nature, the geometrical abstract, fonts and lettering. It can be perceived as a subtlety, the changing of colour, line and texture, or it can be much bolder, using large-scale shapes and patterns. Whatever the technique or suggestion for composition, the end result is always nearly the same, to make something more than it was, to add decoration to enhance its attraction to the individual.

Embellishment in decorative arts:
Embellishment techniques are not only applied on the surface of fabrics and textiles, it is also applying any kind of decorative items. Ceramics, glass, metal, wood in fact all the major and minor decorative arts, used embellishment, as a legitimate tool in which to decoratively enhance their results.

Types of fabric embellishment techniques in sewing and crafts:

Here I will mention the types of embellishment methods that are used to decorate surface design on fabric or garments.

  1. Embroidery
  2. Quilting
  3. Appliqué
  4. Patchwork
  5. Trimming (Fringe trim, Sewing trim)
  6. Lacework (either pre-made or home-made)
  7. Piping (made from either self-fabric, contrast fabric, or a simply a cord.)
  8. Beads
  9. Batik
  10. 10. Smocking

Some other embellishment items that are used on garments for enrich beauty. For example:

  • Buttons
  • Zippers
  • Buckles
  • Grommets
  • Sequins

In addition to the multitude of construction and finishing techniques used, the fabric can also be worked upon or embellished in a variety of ways to enhance its surface. Most embellishing methods, such as embroidery, quilting, applique and bead-work are age-old techniques of decorating fabric and are still largely executed by hand. A specialized industrial sector in trimmings, lacework, embroidery and other embellishments has also developed that uses innovative technology to recreate the hand-worked effects on an industrial scale and pace.

Techniques of Embellishing on Garments:
A few fabric surface embellishing techniques are briefly discussed in below:

Embellishing fabrics with stitches in yarn or thread, using a needle, is one of the oldest forms of art. While the library of embroidery includes hundreds of varieties of stitches, they can be categorized broadly into four main techniques – raised work or stump-work where raised effects are created by stitching over pads of wool and cotton; couched work – creating a pattern with cords by sewing them onto the base fabric; fl at running and filling stitches of which there are hundreds; and counted thread embroidery, e.g. needlepoint and cross stitch, where the stitches are placed over a counted number of threads of the base fabric. Schiffli embroidery is an example of machine embroidery made on the ‘Schiffli’ machine that works sideways with a thousand needles. This machine embroiders with a top, decorative and a back, binding yarn, and is used for making laces and sheer curtain fabrics. Many embroidery stitches can now be produced in digitized embroidery machines which, for large scale production, have multiple heads to produce a number of identical designs simultaneously using an embroidery software program.

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