Architectural Hand Embroidery Designs

Architectural Hand Embroidery Designs

Architectural Hand Embroidery Designs, are the perfect blend between illustration and embroidery. When we first began to stitch, we missed the presence of new and modern designs. It was Charles who first came up with the idea that I should embroider my architectural sketches.

Since the first attempt I was hooked. Thanks to the power of thread and needle, I was able to create a 3D drawing. My illustration rather became a touchable drawing, which was absolutely captivating. Instead of only seeing the lines grow, you can feel them too. When you run your fingers along the threads you can even feel the flow of a building.

Rue Rembrant Embroidery Design
This was one of my first Architectural hand embroidery designs inspired from the majestic buildings on Rue Rembrandt in Paris.

But how can a building have flow?

Whenever we teach workshops, we often get asked this question. The answer comes down to observation.

The closer you observe different objects in your surrounding, the better you will see the smaller fibres and structures that makes up the object.

For example, when you observe a building, do you have the impression that the walls rise high up or are spread out wide? Depending on the shape and size of a house, it鈥檚 usually vertical or horizontal structures that stand out.

Stockholm Gamla Stan Embroidery Pattern CharlesandElin
Click the image to stitch your version of the Stockholm embroidery design!

Hence, when you recreate architectural sceneries in modern hand embroidery designs, you base your stitches off these observations.

If a building is tall and high, you will align your stitches in a vertical fashion. The opposite is true for for example one floor houses that rather spread broadly.

The Stockholm embroidery pattern that you see on the image to the left is a perfect example of vertical structures. To emphasize the height of the building, you make sure to align all your stitches vertically.

You can either use the long short stitch technique or align vertical rows of split stitches.

Our philosophy is that whatever technique that feels the most natural to you, is the best technique. Because to embroidery should be a practise of freedom.

Thus, to be able to freely experiment with your needlework is essential for creative fulfilment to flourish.

Most of our Architectural Hand Embroidery Designs are inspired from buildings or street scenes that we鈥檝e visited or dream to travel to. Thus, you can see the original buildings of the Stockholm embroidery pattern on the image to the right.

Stockholm Gamla Stan Charles and Elin
The Stockholm embroidery design shot in front of the 13th century buildings in the centre of the old town in the Swedish Capital.

Architectural hand embroidery designs allow you to travel in time

Considering the slow process of hand embroidery, you have time to get a deeper connection with the place you stitch. This is just another reason why I fell in love with the architectural style. In addition to creating a unique embroidered art work, I am able to become part of the location鈥檚 history.

To use the Stockholm design as an example again, it shows the strong historical influence. Most of the original buildings in the Old Town of Stockholm originate from the 13th-14th century! Thus, the rusty red and deep yellow are no longer modern colour choices. But rather, they鈥檙e connected to the rich history of the location.

Casa Battlo Embroidery
Click the image to try and stitch this unique modern embroidery design! Inspired from Casa Batll贸 in Barcelona.

Another of our architectural hand embroidery designs is the world famous Casa Batll贸 building. However, instead of using long and short stitch or split stitches for the walls, we鈥檝e unconventionally used French knots.

Thanks to the French knots you can capture the tiles, which contribute to the building鈥檚 character.

Furthermore, the French knots add texture and a more advanced look to the design. However, don鈥檛 forget that it鈥檚 still the basic techniques. It鈥檚 just the combination of them and the thinner threads that changes the impression.

Step out of the traditional needlework box

As Charles and I explored the architectural style further, it became clear that we took a stand away from the traditional stitchery box. The most important isn鈥檛 the name of the technique. Rather it鈥檚 the impression that the technique gives ones it鈥檚 stitched.

In other words, a French knot can be used for mini florals one day and mosaic tiles another. The only limitation is your own imagination!

Below you can see a process image in front of Casa Battl贸 in Barcelona. We try to go back to the inspiration source as often as we can to connect to the embroideries to their origins. It has now become an important part of our creative process.

Casa Battlo Embroidery Charles and Elin
The Casa Batll贸 embroidery design in front of the original Casa Batll贸 building in the centre of Barcelona.

Online courses

We also offer online Masterclasses on the Charles and Elin Academy for both complete beginners and seasoned stitchers looking to freshen up their repertoire.

And if you, just like us, find embroidery to be a part of your creative self-care routine, you’d definitely want to check out the Academy membership. We have designed it as the best embroidery membership by artists for artists to encourage you to make art a part of your every day life.

For a small monthly fee (No commitment time) you can access ALL our courses + continuous updates in one place. There are for example courses on Architectural hand embroidery and Architectural thread-painting, Embroidery on clothes, Thread-Sketching and much more!

Charles and Elin Academy membership
Click the image to learn more about the membership

Thanks for reading along!

xo Elin

5 thoughts on “Architectural Hand Embroidery Designs”

  1. I’m very interested in this idea of rendering architecture in embroidery. My drawing skills are not that good and We can’t travel any distance to look at more interesting architecture than my local suburbia just now but I might try using photos I have already. Thank you for sharing and inspiring.

    1. Of course you can use photographs! Nevertheless, I really encourage you to still try out something in your local area. You will be surprised how a relatively mundane building in reality can look just stunning as an embroidery! Have fun 馃榾

  2. Saskia ter Welle Risseeuw

    Wow! Just discovered a whole new approach to embroidery! Thanks Charles en Elin. It will definitely find it’s way into my day-to-day work in haute couture embroidery.

  3. I first saw your embroidery in a magazine and from that have bought your book. Many years ago I went on an embroidery evening class and this was one of the techniques she taught us. I did Windsor Castle and was very pleased with the result. I cannot wait to get started again, I have always enjoyed black work, this makes it more interesting introducing colour. Cannot wait to start. Will let you know how I get on. Your book is lovely and having it able to lay flat is a bonus.

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