I’ve always pigeonholed embroidery into two categories: the traditional and the cute & crafty, both of which I like. The traditional being embellished textiles such as the dainty dishtowels and napkins found in thrift stores or in your grandmother’s linen closet. “Home sweet home” pillows also fall into this category. Cute & crafty can be found on Etsy– embroidery hoops with whimsical, witty designs are good examples. But lately I’ve been seeing something different: photorealistic embroidery. Artists are taking needlework to a whole new level. Take a look at Daniel Kornrumpf‘s painstakingly detailed embroidered portraits.
The image above is actually a detail of the piece. The tiny embroidered portrait (about the size of a postcard) rests in the center of a much larger linen canvas 42″ long x 36″ wide. This photo gives you a better sense of the dimensions.
And then there is French artist Cécile Jarsaillon who embroiders over photographs with satin thread. Her subject matter can range from the mundane to the graphic.
London-based artist Inge Jacobsen stitches over magazine covers, fashions photos and newspapers to transform mass-produced commercial images into unique, handmade works. Here are two pieces from her series of cross-stitched Vogue covers.