Embroidery has a long and diverse history, and at Stocks Sewing we love to see it celebrated. Historically used in stately homes as artwork, in medieval tapestries to tell stories and to embellish and accentuate clothing, it has more recently become visible on both the big and small screen. Here we look at how one TV show, in particular, has helped propel embroidery into the spotlight once again.
Sewing in the Mainstream
Sewing shows, such as The Great British Sewing Bee, have helped to highlight the beauty and usefulness of this skill and the wide availability of machines and techniques available to help anyone master it. Advances in technology mean that a combination of computer techniques and meticulous handiwork can create truly stunning results. In film and television, high-quality filming is coupled with detailed costumes made to tell stories and represent characters. One key example of this is the work on popular HBO series and novel by George R.R Martin, Game of Thrones.
Embroidery in Game of Thrones
An epic tale following the story of feuding families battling to rule the seven kingdoms, Game of Thrones has become a worldwide phenomenon. Aside from the action-packed story and cast of complex characters, the costume work demonstrates a respect for and love of fine textile work.
Sometimes easy to miss on screen, the surface decoration ranges from intricate embroidered edging around a sash to whole bodices covered in dragon scale. The hands behind this work belong to Michele Carragher Embroidary, principal embroiderer for Game of Thrones. Working directly onto finished garments, she incorporates materials to create highly textured pieces which are visible onscreen. A combination of well-practised stitches is used with ribbons, beads, sequins, cording, lace and precious stones. All are stitched onto stunning fabrics from shiny paper silk to light linens, organza and laser cut leather.
Characterisation Through Costume
Research is crucial to the work, with a combination of character narratives and historical references brought together to represent these fictional worlds. A key character, Daenerys has dragon scales intricately woven into her gowns to represent her power as mother of dragons. Female characters from the North have direwolves, the family’s emblem, emblazoned on bodices as a show of power.
All this work is a testament to a highly skilled practitioner using ancient techniques for a truly modern end. Embroidery can be seen on catwalks and the high street both as an embellishment and as a statement. Other embroidery artists, such as Thomas Sjølander work across film and TV as well as selling their own range of one of a kind embroidered homewares. The diversity and longevity of a well-made piece of embroidery seems to have stayed in fashion.
Take Up Embroidery
If you want to try your hand at this most intricate of crafts, our team can help you. Stocks Sewing love working with different techniques and can answer any questions you may have about buying and maintaining your industrial embroidery machine. Contact us today for more information on how you can work with this beautiful craft!