Can I Embroider With Yarn?

Embroidery craft was limited to just two types in the sixteenth century but has now gained more recognition due to craft modernization which has opened up people to using different tools and wool to actualize their craft design.


Yarn is a ball of wool older than everyone in this century and thicker than the common embroidery thread, but it can also be used for embroidery designs depending on the size, design, and fabric.


 However, there is a style of traditional embroidery design that has found its way back to this century called CREWEL EMBROIDERY, which uses yarn to achieve the embroidery design.

How Many Types Of Embroidery Yarn Do We Have?

We have pretty several yarns used for embroidery, but I will be discussing the common ones used for embroidery designs, and they are,

  1. Crewel Yarn.

Crewel yarn is of the one and 2-ply wool mainly used for crewel embroidery, although some are used for needlepoint, such as the acrylic varieties.

  • Tapestry Yarn.

Tapestry yarn is mainly used for tapestry design which is usually woven on a loom and can be used on a navy needlepoint canvas. However, this yarn is 4-ply wool that cannot be separated but has to be used as a whole, unlike crewel and Persian yarn.

  • Persian Yarn.

This 3-strand yarn is often mistaken for wool due to the loose yarn twist that has made it gain popularity due to its different color availability and can be used for cross stitch, crewel, and needlepoint, among others.

  • Knitting Yarns.

These yarns are lightweight and can be used on any fabric to make embroidery designs.


Samples of the common  yarns include,

  • DMC Matte Cotton Tapestry Thread

  • Appletons Crewel yarn

  • DMC Tapestry Wool

  • Anchor Tapisserie Wool

  • Paternayan Wool Yarn.


Is There Any Difference Between Crewel And Embroidery?

Just a  bit of difference in the yarn being used as crewel is also a form of embroidery, although it is an old style of embroidery that has been modernized.


What Type Of Fabric Can I Use My Crewel Yarn On?

The best fabric to use your crewel yarn on or to create crewel embroidery on is an evenly woven fabric made of linen, cotton, wool, and silk, such as twill linen and twill wool weave. 

What Type Of Needle Can I Use My Crewel Yarn Wool With?

Crewel and chenille needles can be used with your yarn wool to make crewel embroidery, as the eye of the needle is large enough to allow thick wool to pass through it, and they both have a sharp end.


However, you can also make use of a tapestry needle depending on the type of stitches you are doing, remembering that the needle size also highly depends on the weight of yarn you have. 

What Stitches Can I Make With My Crewel Yarn and Crewel Needle?

Crewe; yarn coupled with a crewel needle can make a few stitches on the selected fabric to make a crewel embroidery design. Here are a few of the stitches.

  •  Satin Stitch.

A satin stitch is a flat solid filling stitch used to cover the exposed part of the background fabric.


It is used for filling purposes, and all you have to do is to bring your crewel needle fully threaded with crewel yarn up from the backside at hole 1, then pull down at hole two across the first hole and bring the needle back up at hole 3, then put into another hole 1.

  1. Long And Short Stitch.

This is another stitch used in crewel embroidery to give your design a finished look by having a progression of straight stitches coupling together to fill a small or large space on the background fabric.

  • Line Stitches.

Crewel yarn can work well on a piece of fabric to perform various line stitches such as chain stitch, split stitch, outline stitch, and stem stitch bringing out the beauty of the design, especially when you use different colors of crewel yarn to make the stitches.

  • Knots 

Knots are used for solid filling or designs in this style of embroidery, and such knots are the bullion knot, Chinese knot, and french knot, which is the most commonly used in crewel embroidery. The knotted line stitch, such as coral stitch, fits perfectly into this style of 3embroidery.

  • Fluffy stitch.

The beauty of crewel yarn is seen when used to make a fluffy stitch, otherwise known as Tufting Stitch, Velvet Stitch, or Turkish Stitch.

  • Other Stitches.

You can use other stitches in crewel embroidery using your crewel yarn and crewel or chenille needle, such as couched stitches, buttonhole stitches, fly stitches, and fishbone stitches commonly used to make decorations on the design.


How To Do Embroidery Designs Using Yarn?

The main embroidery design that uses yarn is the Crewel embroidery, and I will show you how to go about it without needing an instructor. 

Materials Needed.
  • Crewel Needle.
  • Scissors.
  • Pencil.
  • Different colors of crewel yarn.
  • Tracing paper.
  • Template.
  • Embroidery hoop or frame.
  •  Linen or a twill woven wool fabric.


Step One 

Get your desired drawing template from a craft store, or make your drawing before placing it on tracing paper to trace the pattern with a pencil.

Place the tracing paper on the fabric and press carefully with a hot iron to enable the replication of the image pattern on the fabric.

Step Two.

Thread your needle with your crewel yarn, making sure to stay within 18 inches in length to prevent the yarn from getting tangled.

Step Three.

Place the fabric in the embroidery hoop, making sure the design is centered in the middle of the embroidery hoop before working your needle on the material.

Step Four

The first thing to do is to start from the flower stem and move to the tiny leaves by running your well-threaded needle through the well-patterned image of the flower on the fabric using a stem stitch.


Step Five 

For the large flower, run a split stitch and use a satin stitch for the flower in the middle, and be mindful of the change of color in the upper flower placed right in the middle.

Step Six

Make sure the stitches are straight, and use a french knot for the petals and the dots in the middle of the right and left lower flower.

Step Seven.

After you are through with all the design, come up with a lazy stitch along the stem stitch and go down close to the first point, leaving a loop before bringing the needle up again to create a small stitch to hold the loop tight.

Can I Embrodeir With A Thick Yarn?

Yes, provided you have a needle that can accommodate the thickness of the yarn and the suitable fabric to go with it.


Embroidery designs made with yarn are known as Crewel embroidery, which uses a  crewel needle fully threaded with yarn to achieve its goal by using different embroidery stitches. The design is easy to do as you must follow a pattern outlined on the fabric.