Tuesday, April 16, 2013

The backside of embroidery

Embroidery backs
We try to make our embroideries look as pretty as we possibly can, but what about the back of it? Do you worry about how the back of your embroidery looks?

I will happily admit to not being particularly obsessed with how the back looks, but I do try and keep it somewhat tidy. If nothing else to make sure that the 'mess' won't show through the fabric. I usually stitch on white fabric so if there's too much mess on the back it might show through as odd shadows.

But other than that, I don't worry about the back. I even use knots if I'm in a hurry or too lazy. ;-) And sometimes the craziness of the back can look really inspiring and just as pretty as the front.

Over the next couple of weeks we'll talk more about backsides and I've got a couple of tips to help you keep them tidy (if that's your thing!) I also asked a few brave stitchers to share the back of their work.

Let's kick those off with one from Aimee Ray:

Aimee Ray - Embroidery back
I don't worry too much about what the backs look like, they are usually pretty messy. I actually think it's interesting to see the backs looking however they happen to come out, it's like a shadow or an abstract version of the front.
Aimee's post about the pattern seen here.

Come back for more tales from the back side of embroidery next week! And of course feel free to add photos of your own backsides in the Flickr group. :-)


  1. Thanks for sharing this! I love seeing the wrong sides of people's work and I often share the back sides of my knitting. As a needlepoint novice, it's nice to see that talented embroiderers are not very worried about the backs! Takes a little pressure off!

  2. I love the wrong side of embroideries too. My partner picks up practically every piece of embroidery I do and says 'it's nice but the back is way better'!!. I try not to worry too much about the back unless I think it's going to show through.

  3. I knot all the time! And get stick for it from other crafters, but I'd rather do the boring part quick and do the fun part (the actual stitching) well on the side people will actually see :)

    1. Yeah! Do the fun bit, don't worry about what other people say! :-)

  4. I knot my threads, too. I admit I'm too lazy to care about things nobody will likely ever see and a mess back side has it's appeal, too.
    It's also quite cool to see how different stitches look different each side. Sometimes stitches look chaotic on the front and totally symmetric in the back.
    The only thing I never do is pulling the thread across the whole pattern in the back to continue stitching there.

    1. Yes, I'm often too lazy to care about knots too. ;-)

      I agree about never pulling thread across. That's a really bad habit. And such a waste of thread too!

  5. Done! Just for you! Just posted a picture of the backside of the Dutch Canal House Embroidery!

  6. I like looking at the backs too. And I knot, are you supposed to do something different? Sometimes a travelling thread can look attractive,(although I try not to do it) I've seen some avant garde stitching really make a feature of this too.


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