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Embroidery and Wool

Embroidery and wool are a perfect combination and create a contrast between delicately crafted details and durability. We often upholster using wool and add elements of embroidery to make furniture bespoke and truly unique. Embroidery is a craft that has many techniques and variations of needlework. Join us as we share some of our favourite techniques and how we use combinations of embroidery and wool.

Embroidery on wool can be found throughout our hotels. We use both made to order designs as well as bespoke one of a kind commissions. We often use our own designs on sofas and chairs including Bookend for Christopher Farr. The embroidered threads tell a story with their customised colours.

Embroidery on wool can be simple and elegant as it is here in the Drawing Room at The Soho Hotel. This set of Bergère chairs have an embroidered design on their seat backs and outside backs. A design found on the inside of an old knitting bag is what inspired us to create these.

We have commissioned artists including Pippa Caley and Natasha Hulse to embroider upholstery into works of art.

Like us, Pippa is inspired by the organic forms and vibrant colours of the natural world. Pippa masterfully blends traditional embroidery with more contemporary techniques including digital and screen-printing. Pippa’s Irish embroidery machine enables her to turn drawn marks into stitches and it is this ‘drawing with the needle’ technique where her passion lies. In The Soho Hotel’s Library, you’ll find two large sofas, each embroidered by Pippa with individual delicate flowers and petals. See more of Pippa Caley’s exquisite embroidery here.

Natasha Hulse combines the traditional technique of art and appliqué into unique three-dimensional designs. Each piece of furniture and fabric showcases a design that is hand-painted and appliqued into a botanical scene and upholstered into a unique item of furniture. As a dressmaker, her technique reflects her craft and passion as she includes beads within her embroidered work as seen here in The Whitby Suite.

Embroidered wool headboards are a specialty and there is no one we would rather have to create a sense of whimsy than Natasha Hulse. Find out more in our ‘Meet The Maker’ blog post with Natasha Hulse here.

Craftsmanship can also be rehabilitating and our appreciation for combinations of wool and embroidery goes further with our Fine Cell Work collaboration. Fine Cell Work is a charity and social enterprise which trains prisoners in paid, skilled, creative needlework. The charity aims to enable prisoners to develop new skills, earn money and acquire the self-belief to stop offending. The work is of a superb quality as prisoners are taught by skilled volunteers, including members of the Embroiderers and Quilters Guild. We have created a collection with Fine Cell Work to showcase the talent within the organisation. From simple cross stitch patterns to intricate designs, beautiful cushions made with wool and embroidery can be found here.

We have dabbled in the craft of embroidery ourselves and we enjoy learning about different stitches and techniques. Here are some examples of crewelwork in Room 803 and in the Drawing Room at The Whitby Hotel. Crewelwork is a technique in which the embroidered threads themselves are made of wool.

We hope you have learned a bit more about embroideries on wool and if you give the craft a try for yourself, please share your creations with us on Instagram @KitKempDesignThread.

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