The term is usually used today to describe a form of crewel embroidery used for furnishing characterized by fanciful plant and animal shapes worked in a variety of stitches with two-ply wool yarn on linen. A popular motif in Jacobean embroidery is the Tree of Life.
Early Jacobean embroidery often featured scrolling floral patterns worked in colored silks on linen, a fashion that arose in the later Elizabethan era. Embroidered jackets were fashionable for both men and women in the period 1600-1620, and several of these jackets have survived.
Jacobean embroidery was carried by British colonists to Colonial America, where it flourished. The Deerfield embroidery movement of the 1890s revived interest in colonial and Jacobean styles of embroidery.
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