Embroidering My Stresses Away

Through the pinpricks and sore thumbs, a new piece of embroidery emerges

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With origins as far back as circa 1000BC China, embroidery is an art form that has spanned across the globe with its intricacy and attention to detail.

Embroidery requires a considerable amount of patience and time, be it a small project or not.  I picked up the craft myself not too long ago.

As a novice, self-taught embroiderer, I set myself an ambitious task to do – complete a piece of embroidery in two weeks.

In the Middle Ages embroidered fabrics had high status and were owned by those from wealthy backgrounds. With the development of decorative cloth manufacture during the eighteenth century, embroidery started losing its popularity. But it was revived from the 1850s onwards, mainly influenced by artist William Morris.

This revival led to the establishment of embroidery schools such as the Royal School of Needlework (1872), which is still active today.

To really fit with the theme of Rising East, what better to embroider than the logo itself? It was a roller coaster of a task, where I battled with my patience through constant needle pricks and knotted string, but I did it. I actually finished it.

The piece took a total of about six full hours but before you think of that as practically no time at all, consider this – I had to manage everyday errands; university; coursework; volunteering and not to mention I had to revise for, take and pass not one, but two tests all while completing this piece of embroidery. But I still managed.

You could say that I was pretty strapped for time, but if I could do all that in just two weeks, there’s nothing anyone shouldn’t be able to do.