A beautiful trend with an impressive history. Works from China have been dated to the Warring States period (5th–3rd century BC). There have been different styles of stitching, different fabrics & different technique but all appreciated as an artistic expression. I found a few interesting articles to share with you.
It is a striking fact that in the development of embroidery ... there are no changes of materials or techniques which can be felt or interpreted as advances from a primitive to a later, more refined stage. On the other hand, we often find in early works a technical accomplishment and high standard of craftsmanship rarely attained in later times.
The art of embroidery has been found world-wide and several early examples have been found. In a garment from Migration period Sweden, roughly 300–700 AD, the edges of bands of trimming are reinforced with running stitch, back stitch, stem stitch, tailor's buttonhole stitch, and whip-stitching, but it is uncertain whether this work simply reinforced the seams or should be interpreted as decorative embroidery
Depending on time, location and materials available, embroidery could be the domain of a few experts or a wide-spread, popular technique. This flexibility led to a variety of works, from the royal to the mundane.
Elaborately embroidered clothing, religious objects, and household items often were seen as a mark of wealth and status, as in the case of Opus Anglicanum, a technique used by professional workshops and guilds in medieval England In 18th century England and its colonies, samplers employing fine silks were produced by the daughters of wealthy families. Embroidery was a skill marking a girl's path into womanhood as well as conveying rank and social standing.
During the 17th century padded satin stitch became very popular, in order to create bas-reliefs on fabrics. Golden yarns were still popular, as ribbons and sequins. A new technique was developed to apply more volume to fabrics, a sort of bullion knot, which was made with silver yarns and looked like a modern cylinder shaped bead. The most important innovation in fashion history was represented by the introduction of lace. Lace in the 17th century was applied on collars, camisa, socks and gloves.
We have just launched our first few pieces in our women's store on Etsy WomansRenaissance