Stumpwork Embroidery Definition - Definitions for the Clothing & fabric Industry

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Stumpwork is a style of embroidery where the stitched figures are raised from the surface of the work to form a 3-dimensional effect. Stitches can be worked around pieces of wire to create individual forms such as leaves, insect wings or flower petals. This form is then applied to the main body of work by piercing the background fabric with the wires and securing tightly. Other shapes can be created using padding under the stitches, usually in the form of felt layers sewn one upon the other in increasingly smaller sizes. The felt is then covered with a layer of embroidery stitches. This method is frequently used to create tree trunks, the bases of flowers, and human forms. Berries and other fruits, insects and animal bodies can be created using beads covered in thread and applied to the background fabric.

Historically, this form of embroidery was used to decorate a variety of household goods including caskets used to store jewelry. Many fine examples of this work can be seen in the Victoria and Albert Museum in London England. Motifs at that time included garden scenes which involved the creation of 3-d trees, animals and people in fabulous costumes including hair and hats.

Popular motifs today include still lifes of flowers, fruit and insects. Popular designers include Jane Nicholas who authored several books on the subject.

A modern day sub category of this art form used primarily in production embroidery on automated embroidery machines is referred to as PUFF embroidery. The process involves putting down, typically, a layer of foam rubber larger than the intended shape on top of the target material to be decorated. The shape is then embroidered on top of the foam rubber in such a way that the needle penetrations cut the foam rubber around the periphery of the shape. When the embroidery is finished the excess foam rubber is weeded (pulled away or cleaned off) from the design area, leaving the underlying foam rubber shape trapped under the embroidery stitches resulting in a STUMPWORK effect.

PUFF embroidery generally lacks the intricate design characteristics obtainable with true STUMPWORKS techniques and is primarily seen on leisure wear such as baseball caps, sweatshirts and jackets. Many times the designs are used to portray company logos or team mascots.


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The above article is licensed under the GNU Free Documentation License. From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia (  9/5/06

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