It's the reigning cool kid for crafters in the know — from satin-stitched hoops to fancy-pants jeans, hand embroidery is everywhere. We talked to artist and Instagram embroidery star Jessica Long of Namaste Hand Embroidery about how this humble craft has stitched its way into the limelight and captured all our hearts and hands.
The obsession is twofold, Jessica says: part trend, part sign of the times: “All trends cycle and we are lucky enough to see hand embroidery popular again right now. Lots of designers are including machine-embroidered flowers and decorations on their clothes, which is giving embroidery tons of visibility.” It doesn't hurt that embroidery floss comes in hundreds of oh-so-yummy colors — you can literally stitch the rainbow.
Along with giving a nice dose of eye candy, this easy-to-learn craft also helps us decompress after stress- and screen-filled days. “In our fast-paced, media-filled world [we want to] slow down and reconnect with our hands and our creativity," Jessica says. "Hand embroidery is the perfect way to unplug.” And because you can do amazing things with just a few simple stitches, you're almost guaranteed success. "Just jump in and play," Jessica says. "Learn some basics, but don't worry too much about breaking any embroidery rules or making mistakes." There's a lot you can do right from the get-go, but as you're ready, you'll level up to more complicated stitches and trickier techniques.
Sound like something you can get behind? Because it's so portable and so versatile, embroidery is perfect for stitching with friends. Start a weekly stitching lunch (or cocktail hour!) and see what happens. "People are grabbing their needles and playing, stitching whatever they have around the house," Jessica says. "I love it!"
And if you want to get ahead of the next crafting trend, Jessica predicts we’ll be seeing more and more needle punching in the future. Just don’t expect her to trade in her hoop anytime soon.