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Did you know that people can use human hair to embroider and even embroidery techniques can be applied to pieces of wood? Though being an embroidery enthusiast, there are various embroidery facts in several intriguing aspects that you may not know. 

In this article, let K-Embroidery discover 12 unexpected embroidery facts that will blow your mind!

One of The First Embroidery Facts is That The Origin Of The Word “Embroidery” Comes From French

The term “embroidery” originates from French: “embroider” (embroder) from Old French “broder”, which means “to sew.” The suffix “-er” indicates someone who does the action, derived from the verb “brodeur,” which comes from the Latin “brodus”, meaning ’embroidered’.

Embroidery Can Be Done On Multiple Materials

When it comes to embroidery, the first thing you might think of is a design stitched on fabric. The truth is that this technique can be applied to many materials, including photos, postcards, paper, and even plant leaves and pieces of wood.

Embroidered wooden products

To embroider wooden products, follow these steps:

  • Choose a wooden item (a wooden box, wooden cuff, wooden furniture, etc.)
  • Mark the chosen design onto the wood surface, which can include words or patterns. 
  • Carefully drill holes along the design lines. 
  • Smooth the surface by sanding it to remove any rough edges or leftover markings. 
  • Thread the holes.
  • You should paint or stain the wood before you begin threading.

If you are intending to create unique products for your business, you can take wooden products into account.

It Is Possible To Use Human Hair To Embroider

Along with fabric and needle, thread is another one of the embroidery essentials. There is a wide variety of thread: single thread or double thread, cotton thread, silk thread, black or colored thread.

It may seem surprising, you can use human hair to embroider. In Mexico, to formally accept the marriage proposal, a handkerchief was sometimes embroidered with the groom’s hair. And people also used hair to embroider Buddhist images in late imperial China.

But it is also possible to use less conventional ones. For centuries all over the world, gold and silver threads were symbols of wealth, power and social status, decorating the clothing worn by the upper class or religious objects.

Embroidered Materials Is Very Durable

One of the amazing embroidery facts is that embroidery adds a layer of protection to clothing and fabric, making them durable enough to withstand washing machines, fabric cleaners, and the rigors of daily use without damage. Even weather conditions and heavy laundering that uses high heat can not break down the fibers. 

Moreover, the colors of embroidered designs stay vibrant and vivid for years to come, retaining the longevity and visual appeal of the garments. From this point of view, embroidery combines form and function!

In a market where durability is often sacrificed for style, K-Embroidery stands as a beacon of quality, offering products that excel in both aspects. K-Embroidery leads the industry with its commitment to producing embroidered products that are both visually stunning and exceptionally durable. 

All of K-Embroidery’s products are very durable

Embroidery Is Not Applique

The two seem strikingly similar yet they have their differences. Embroidery involves weaving different-colored thread onto a material while applique is when a person sews a piece of cloth to another material to form a picture or pattern. The two techniques can work together, however, and many designs combine both embroidery and applique technique to create magnificent works.

Storytelling Through Design

Embroidery has been used throughout history to tell stories and convey  messages through its detailed patterns. Whether it’s a classic folktale or a personal experience, the design features can depict emotions, memories, and cultural backgrounds. Every stitch serves as a part of the artist’s storytelling, drawing the observer into a realm of symbolism and creativity.

For instance, some Native American tribes have used embroidery to tell stories about their culture and to teach life lessons.

Bayeux Tapestry Is Not A True Tapestry

Depicting the events leading up to and including the Norman Conquest of England in 1066, Bayeux Tapestry spans approximately 230 feet in length and comprises 70 intricate scenes embroidered onto a linen cloth.

Despite its name, it is not a true tapestry but rather an embroidered cloth, and this is one of many embroidery history facts about Bayeux Tapestry. Yet its historical significance and detailed imagery have solidified its status as an iconic masterpiece of medieval embroidery, revered and studied by scholars and art enthusiasts worldwide.

Visit Bayeux Tapestry at the museum

Not All Fabric Can Use The Same Needle

In embroidery, not all fabrics and designs can use the same needle. If your fabric is tightly woven, you will need a sharp pointed needle. However, if it is linen or canvas, use a blunt one instead.

The size matters as well. A short needle is good for speed. However, if you are planning to loop your thread around the needle, then you’ll need a longer needle.

When Embroidery First Came Is Unknown

Another among surprising embroidery facts is that historians don’t have an exact timeline for the origins of embroidery. However, there are ancient examples found in places like ancient Egypt, the Chinese Zhou Dynasty, and even the Iron Age in Northern Europe.

For instance, silk thread used in chain stitching in China dates back to the 3rd Century during the Warring States period. Recently, a fossil was discovered showing evidence of embroidery on hunting items used long ago.

Additionally, in 1964 near Kyiv in Russia, archaeologists found some of the earliest known embroidery fragments, estimated to be around 30,000 years old. These handcrafted designs in such a cold climate likely provided extra warmth in clothing.

Hand-embroidered Products Are More Highly Appreciated

Embroidery can be by hand or by machine depending on the intended use and prepared materials. For machine making, the product will save time and labor,  leading to cost savings.

However, one of unexpected embroidery facts is that machine-embroidered products often have less sophistication and flexibility than hand-embroidered alternatives. While hand-embroidered can be done on a variety of fabric patterns and create many different details, machine-embroidered is limited to the machine frame and is not valued as much by customers.

K-Embroidery’s products are 100% embroidered by hand

All the K-Embroidery’s products are entirely embroidered by hand by a team of skilled Vietnamese artisans. These hand-embroidered products are more intricate, more sophisticated, and have a higher value than machine-embroidered products. Each product is highly creative and meticulously presented.

For more information about K-Embroidery’s products, contact our Sales team via Phone & Whatsapp: +84 85 555 5961.

Second World War Escape Map

In World War II, silk escape maps were crucial for soldiers and helped them escape if they were captured or shot down in enemy territory. These maps were made from delicate silk because it was lightweight, making them easy to carry. 

Silk could also be folded up tightly and small, so easy to conceal and wouldn’t rustle when crumpled up. Moreover, cloth maps don’t tear when they get wet or make noise and can be hidden more easily than paper maps. Most of them were made from silk or rayon.

World’s Longest Embroidery

The Embroiderers’ Guild in the UK organized what would become the world’s longest embroidery to celebrate its 100th anniversary. The project began in 2003 and by 2009, it had reached over 605 meters, setting a new Guinness World Record. This massive embroidery was stitched by around 7,000 embroiderers from all around the world.

World’s longest embroidery is in UK

The embroidery showcases a wide variety of designs, colors, and themes, including 3D insects, flowers, and people’s names. Participants were given the freedom to choose any motif they liked. By 2017, the embroidery was exhibited at different locations across the UK, where people could continue to add to it. The Guild has also initiated a similar project called the World’s Longest Embroidery for Schools, inviting schools from Australia, Canada, the UK, and the USA to participate.


In general, the world of embroidery is full of surprises and hidden gems waiting to be explored. From the unexpected use of human hair in embroidery to the durability of embroidered materials, embroidery facts reveal the richness and versatility of this age-old craft.