After a few instagram polls and discussions with customers at some events early this year, it has occurred to me that most people don't really know how I make my embroideries (and often assume it's digital/computerised!) So I thought it was about time I did a blog post about my technique.
I use free-hand motion embroidery. This isn't digital embroidery, but another method somewhere in between hand embroidery and digital - more like hand really though...
Free-motion embroidery is a way of moving the fabric under a regular, domestic sewing machine needle using your hands, to almost 'draw' with the needle. Here are some time-lapse/sped up videos of me working to give you an idea!
Although my work can sometimes look like it has been digitally embroidered, I have worked hard on my skills over the years to get my work to look so detailed that you might think so!
It's the time it takes to embroider that is the main difference between the two techniques. Something that takes me 8 hours to make could take a digital machine just one! Not only that, I have to sit down and physically make and embroider the piece with my hands for those 8 hours - whereas with a digital, the maker can let it go on it's own whilst they continue to do other work.
This is not to take away from digital embroidery - it is also an amazing skill that's tricky to master, and one I will inevitable move to when my workload increases.
However, while I'm doing everything by hand I would like you to know, as it takes much longer to make!