Jacobin embroidery (kruil): technique, schemes, master class. Hand embroidery
Jacobin embroidery (kruil): technique, schemes, master class. Hand embroidery

Exotic animals and unprecedented plants are the main feature of modern Jacobin embroidery. The use of twisted woolen or linen threads in needlework and the variety of embroidery techniques make it unique and at the same time similar to other styles. Today, there are no restrictions for a needlewoman in the choice of fabrics, threads and beads.

A bit of history

The art of Jacobean embroidery has its roots in England during the reign of King James, from where it takes its name. It is also called the kruil technique (translated from English - "embroidery with wool"). These two terms are equally used by modern needlewomen.

However, it is worth separating these concepts a little. In the kruil embroidery technique, only twisted woolen threads are used. Any material can be used in Jacobean style.

In the 17th century, everything from sofa cushions to luxurious toilets of noblemen was decorated with cruis embroidery. This occupation was considered noble, and the products were highly valued.

What did you embroider?

BasicThe direction in this needlework was flower embroidery. Neither animals, nor birds, nor insects could give such freedom in the image. Any shape, various combinations of colors and shades, the creation of endless ornate patterns did not limit the imagination at all.

By the 18th century, Indian motifs began to prevail: peacocks appeared in sprawling flower stems, and elephants and tigers appeared in orchards. The shape of the petals has also changed: they have become teardrop-shaped with a base rounded in the form of a comma, and the filling inside the outline is full of a variety of stitches.

Tips for beginners

Any work that requires close attention needs good lighting. Therefore, do not neglect the quality of the lamp. The more its light is similar to natural sunlight, the less tired the eyes will be.

The fabric must be pulled evenly and tightly over the hoop: the longitudinal threads and wefts must not move diagonally. The most popular are plastic hoops. On the inside of the ring, they have a protrusion, thanks to which the fabric does not lose its tension during operation. In between embroidery, it is worth removing the fabric from the hoop so that creases do not form at the place of its fastening.

The likelihood of fabric contamination is also important. If the embroidery threads do not shed, then the finished embroidery can be washed. Otherwise, you should protect it from rubbing. To do this, take a piece of cotton fabric and cut out of it a square 20 cm larger than the outer circumference of the hoop. Then, inside this square, cut a circle 5 cm smallertheir inner diameter. It will turn out a square with a circle cut out inside. This fabric is inserted into the hoop over the embroidery and protects it from being touched by hands.

Applying talcum powder to hands is an effective way to combat the appearance of greasy stains on embroidery. Even if hands are washed, the skin still oozes oil and can stain fabrics.

Tricks of the trade

Any work is fraught with nuances. So in hand embroidery there are techniques that are not described in any instruction or diagram:

  • Many fabrics shrink after washing. It's best to wash the fabric before you start embroidering.
  • Failed stitches should be corrected immediately. When most of the embroidery is ready, this will not work.
  • To make the threads stronger and not shaggy, it helps to use a wax or silicone thread conditioner.
  • It is more convenient not to thread the needle, but to put the needle on the thread with the eyelet.
  • If it is inconvenient to use a thimble, you can drop a little superglue on the pad of your finger. The needle will not be able to pierce the frozen drop, and after a few hours the drop will fall off by itself.
  • Given that the wrong side of the embroidery is never shown, it is perfectly acceptable to start stitches with a knot.
  • It is better to untangle the knot formed on the thread with two needles.
  • The process of embroidery should be fun and relaxing - it does not tolerate haste.
  • Any work done by hand has flaws or flaws, but as you know, there is no limit to perfection.

Materials for hand embroidery

Varietythe materials used are enormous. Choosing a canvas or thread for a beginner in the art of embroidery is quite difficult. It is worth considering the qualities and features of materials often used by professional craftswomen.


According to its texture, the fabric is selected, depending on the purpose of the future embroidered product:

  1. Mattling - loose and dense. Embroidery on such a fabric is quite difficult due to its large weaving. This canvas is suitable for upholstery of furniture and other household items (rollers, pillows).
  2. Silk creates a wonderful backdrop for embroidery. Its disadvantages are low strength and rapid loss of color. Silk fabrics should not be stored in the sun. Wash them in cold soapy water.
  3. Cotton fabric for quilting. The most successful fabric for napkins, capes and scarves. Due to the medium density and tight weave, it is easy to make small stitches on it. Before embroidery, it should be washed in warm water to shrink.
  4. Cotton muslin is the perfect lining fabric. It holds stitches very well and has little to no shrinkage.
  5. Linen fabric for domestic use. It is easy to embroider on it due to the dense weaving, like cotton fabric. At home, it is used as bed linen, tablecloths and towels.


Since there are no restrictions on the use of threads in Jacobin embroidery, strength and color fastness will be the main requirements for them.

  1. Mouline thread - the most popular among embroiderers. They have a pleasant sheen. Made from cotton.Usually they are sold in skeins of 8 meters. To embroider with these threads, use needles No. 9 or No. 10.
  2. Viscose floss give the embroidery volume and relief. But working with them is quite difficult: the thread twists and tries to tie into a knot. For viscose floss, needles No. 6 and No. 7 are suitable.
  3. Perl threads are quite thick and strong. They have a characteristic pearl tint. Melange colors are especially popular. They are convenient to fill in embroidery elements without changing the thread for shades. Embroider perlé with a 26 chenille needle or a 28 tapestry needle.
  4. Threads for needle lace have a delicate sheen. If you plan to use them in embroidery, then you should stock up on air conditioning. These threads are used in weaving, which is based on airy loop stitches, so they are often twisted into knots. Lace is woven with such threads using a tapestry needle No. 28.
  5. Metalized threads are sold both in individual skeins and in interlacing with cotton floss. They are made of polyester yarn, but have a metallic sheen, give the product volume. Pairs very well with beads. However, they tear easily. They use chenille needles No. 20 and No. 22.

The quality of beads can be determined by comparing several pieces from one package. Beads must be exactly the same, with even holes.

Stitches in Jacobean embroidery

Given the variety of styles used, it is worth considering the main techniques most often used in the work.

Stitch "back needle"

The easiest way to embroider is a stitch"back needle". The needle is inserted into the fabric behind the thread and withdrawn to the length of the next stitch in front of it. Since, as a result, an empty space remains behind the thread, it is filled again in the same way. It is very important to hit the end of the previous stitch with the needle so that the line is perfectly even. This seam is performed with threads both in one addition and in several. Used to highlight the outline of image elements.

Seam "back needle"

Straight stitch seam

The straight stitch (or dash stitch) is the most versatile stitch in embroidery. Can be laid at any angle and be of any length. It is performed by inserting a needle by the thread and bringing it out at the place where the stitch began, or next to it. Suitable for embroidering rounded or pointed elements. It is performed both horizontally and vertically and can serve as filling for individual parts of the embroidery. These stitches are also used in the satin stitch method. They are placed parallel to each other and very close. Each stitch starts from the center of the previous one.

Seam "straight stitch"

Sewing stitch

The sew-on stitch is sewn with two threads and two needles. Used for element outlines. It is performed quite simply: the first thread is laid along the required line, and the second is sewn to the fabric. In making this seam, you can use beads by stringing it on the first thread or on the second thread in the places where both threads are intertwined on the front side. In this way, round beads are suitableforms.

Seam "sew-on stitch"

Stitch "single loop"

Single buttonhole is suitable for embroidering flowers with small petals. The thread is brought to the front side, the needle enters the fabric nearby, and a loop is created under the needle. The free end of the loop is fixed with a small stitch that can be decorated with beads. If you make several locking stitches at a distance from each other, then the resulting loop will change shape: it will become wider or more angular. Such a seam can be performed not only in a circle, but also in a chain. Each subsequent link will start from the locking stitch of the previous one.

Seam "single loop"

Master class on Jacobin embroidery

On the example of embroidery such a simple fly, you can try out some stitches and techniques.

Embroidery "Fly"

First, prepare the fabric (it is best to take cotton or linen, since it is easiest to embroider on them). Cut out the square. We wash the workpiece in warm water, dry it and iron it so that there are no creases and irregularities on the fabric. Then we overcast the edges of the fabric with long and short stitches in gray color No. 644.

In this embroidery, only DMC floss threads are used, but, for example, woolen threads can be used for the back of a fly - the element will look voluminous.

used threads

Let's draw a diagram of Jacobin embroidery on a sheet of paper. For convenience, you can sign the color of each element.

Embroidery pattern "Fly" on paper

When the drawing on paper is ready, transfer it to the fabric.

Embroidery of individual elements

Embroider the back of the fly

Starting embroidery from the top strip on the back. We use the lightest blue color No. 927. We tighten the knot at the end of the thread and thread it through the fabric several times. After a few stitches, the knot can be cut off. We embroider with smoothness. We start long stitches by 2 mm on the next strip of the back, so that we end up with an overlap of color.

Fill in the entire strip, starting from the middle. Along the edges, the strip expands downward. We use shorter stitches there.

We embroider the next strip in white color No. 822. We start from the middle of the already embroidered first. The seams should capture both the first strip on the back and the third. In this way, a smooth transition from one shade to another is achieved. We place the stitches as close to each other as possible.

Next, we embroider the stripes with colors No. 376 and No. 926. The fifth strip is again No. 927.

Embroider the frame

Use color 3782. Sew on with a sew-on stitch. We take the thread going to the base in five additions, sewing - in two. This will give the frame more dimension than the main picture. Circles are embroidered with satin stitch.

Pattern background

The space between the fly and the frame can be filled with stitches randomly located in different directions, equal, about 1 cm, in length. For this, threads of color No. 644 are suitable.

Stitch for fly legs and antennae

Using color 3031. The seam is quite simple and resembles a spiral. We insert the needle into the fabric 3 mm in front of the last seam, and bring it outend, we thread the needle under the thread of the previous stitch and start the next one according to the same principle. Do not forget to follow the contour.

Aerial weaving of wings

Visually divide the wing into five parts. We take thread No. 680. We start work on top of the wing near the head of the fly. Stretch the stitch across the width from left to right. The needle is brought out 3 mm lower, then we create 4-5 loops with stitch capture. We go right to left. We return the needle to the fabric. It turns out a crossbar with loops on it. We make one more stitch. We make loops again, but we capture not only the seam, but also each loop from the previous stitch in turn.

We embroider the second part of the wing with stitches of color No. 680, and we make loops from threads No. 3828. To do this, take another needle. The loops are sewn to the fabric in the same places as the cross stitches.

The third part consists of threads No. 3828. We embroider the fourth, making loops from color No. 422, and the crossbar from No. 3828. The fifth part will be only color No. 422.

Embroider the contours of the wings with the same stitch as the paws, using color No. 680.

It seems that the embroidery on the fabric is voluminous.

The body and the head of a fly

We embroider the head and body with a stitch vertically. We use color No. 644 for both.

Take thread No. 3782 and make a cross with two stitches through the center of the body. We make a few more parallel stitches at a distance of about 5 mm from each other along the entire body. We fix the intersections of the threads to the fabric with small stitches.

Fly ready

Transparent round beads can be added to this example of Jacobin embroidery by embroideringwings (attach it to the seam loops). This method will create a play of shades and a smoother transition. For small stitches of cross hairs on the body, round white or beige beads are suitable.

Where do you get inspiration?

Starting embroidery seems like a fairly simple task. But in order for this activity to bring pleasure and ensure perseverance, it is worth starting with a simple but interesting scheme that you would like at first sight. Many books with Jacobin embroidery lessons and various examples have been published in the world. You can draw creative inspiration from there.

Over time, experience will come in embroidering works on fabric according to your own sketches.

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