needlework, work done with a needle, either plain sewing, mending, or ornamental work such as embroidery, quilting, smocking, hemstitching, fagoting, some kinds of lace making (see lace), patchwork, and appliqué. Knitting, crocheting (see crochet work), netting, and tatting are also classified as needlework, being done with specialized needles or, as in netting and tatting, with shuttles. Many of the processes used are ancient, and some have several uses, such as the darning stitch employed in mending, embroidery, and lace making. Patchwork or appliqué, consisting of a cut or pieced design of one fabric applied to the surface of another, was used in ancient Egypt and India.
A (needlework) sampler is a piece of embroidery produced as a demonstration or test of skill in needlework. It often includes the alphabet, figures, motifs, decorative borders and sometimes the name of the person who embroidered it and the date. The word sampler is derived from the Latin ‘exemplum’ - an example.


The oldest surviving samplers were constructed in the 15th and 16th centuries. As there were no wills and passed down through the generations. These samplers were stitched using a variety of needlework styles A border was added to samplers in the 17th century, and by the middle of the 17th century alphabets became common, with religious or moral quotations, while the entire sampler became more methodically

Samplers today

Samplers are widely stitched today, some using kits purchased from needlework shops, some from chart-packs, and many from patterns available on the Internet or through e-mail from designers. Patterns range from simple using only one stitch, to complex, using 15 to 20 and more stitches. Designs range widely in style, from accurate reproductions of historic pieces to much more contemporary and modern styles. Many sampler reproductions are also available, copying colors and imperfect stitches from the originals.

Materials used include aida cloth, evenweave, and linen fabrics, in cotton, linen, and man-made materials combined in more and more ways; and fibers from cotton floss to silk, rayon, viscose, and metallic.

See also

External links



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