Textile Craft: What Every Beginner Must Know

Textile-making industry has witnessed a lot of changes in the past few decades. More people are becoming interested in the industry and the way things are done have changed a lot. Working as a fashion designer is very interesting; it is a constantly evolving field. Nonetheless, designing new cloths or piece of fabrics takes a lot of work and can be extremely competitive.

If you want to become successful as a fashion designer or go into textile crafting, you must understand the history and terms that are used in textile industry. You need to know how these crafts evolved from using only hands and needles to the sophisticated machines that we use today. You need to know the difference between sewing, embroidery, quilting and rest of them. Learning these terms will make you a better fashion designer and equip you with skills you need to produce beautiful and breath-taking designs.

Let’s take a look at some terms and history every fashion designer must know:


sewing photo

Photo by Georgie Pauwels

Home sewing is an ancient hubby mostly done by women. However, it has evolved in recent years to become a profitable business. Before now and for over a thousand years, sewing was done manually by hand using nothing else but only a thread and needle. Fortunately, the first sewing machine was invented in the 19th century.

In the 20th century, there is an increase in the production of sewing machine due to rise of computerization. However, this did not totally banish sewing by hand. Today, fine hand sewing is seen as a feature of high-quality tailoring, haute couture fashion, and custom dressmaking. Clothes sewed by hand are more expensive than those made with machines because of their special features.

Planning to start sewing? Before you can start sewing, you need to get familiar with some terms such as stitches, grain line, bobbins, inseam, point presser and rest of them. Don’t wait until you buy sewing machine before learning these terms.


Embroidery photo

Photo by sharonb

Embroidery, just like sewing is one of the oldest handcraft that involves decorating fabric with needle and thread or yarn. Apart from these tools, other materials such as beads, pearls, quills and even sequins can be used in embroidery.

Again, embroidery has witnessed lots of change in recent years. Today, there are even machines that can be used to easily do embroidery works. Embroidery are not only limited to clothes again, you can as well see them on hats, caps, coats, dress shirts, denim, blankets, stockings, and golf shirts. Embroidery work can be done with a wide variety of thread or yarn color.

The origin of embroidery is not clear. However, most historians believed it started from Asia specifically China and spread to other Asian countries such as Japan and India before making it way to England during colonization era.

Embroidery became automated in the mid-1800s during the industrial revolution era. A fashion designer can combine sewing and embroidery to create a beautiful cloth with awesome designs.


Crochet photo

Photo by Dicemanic

Crochet is a lot like knitting, it involves creating fabric through the process of interlocking thread, yarn, or strands of their materials with a crochet hook. The major difference between crotchet and knitting is that every stitch in crotchet is completed before proceeding with the next one while a large number of stitches can be kept open at a time in knitting.



This form of art work is extensively used in quilting. It is simply an ornamental needlework which involves sewing together of pieces of fabric to form a picture or pattern. Appliqué has French origin and cloth made this way are an important art form in Benin, West African country. Additionally, appliqué is also used by Egyptian Khayamiya and the ralli quilts of India and Pakistan.



Fabric Felting

fabric felting

Photo By https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Felt

Felting simply refers to a process of producing textile through matting, condensing and pressing fibers together. Wool or other synthetic fibers such as petroleum-based acrylic can be used for felting.



quilting photo

Quilting is a higher form of sewing. Most beginners usually ignore this part of fashion designing. This process involves creating a more padded material when a quilter sews two or more layers of fabric together. In most cases, quilting jobs are carried out with 3 layers. The first layer is called the upper fabric, also known as quilt top, the insulating material or batting and finally a backing material. However, a fashion designer can adopt a style that is more convenient to him.

Quilting works are done with thread and needle. It can be done with hand or by sewing machine which allows the movement of thread and also the needle through all the layers to hold the fabrics together. Additionally, it can be done with a specialized longarm quilting system. The person that does quilting is known as quilter and he can purchase his tools from quilt stores that deals on fabric, thread, patterns and other tools use in quilting.

Textile Printing

Textile Printing photoTextile printing is a higher form of designing. This is a little complex and mostly not done by beginners. It can be defined as an art of applying color to fabric in well-defined patterns or designs. When done properly, the color is made to bond with fiber in order to defy washing and friction. The act of textile printing is similar to dyeing; the major difference between the two is that dyeing involves covering the entire fabric with one color while multiple colors can be used in textile printing.


Textile craft indeed involves a whole lot of things. To be successful in textile making, it is important that you face one aspect. You can be a designer, a quilter or textile printer. Fortunately, there are sophisticated machine you can use to get these jobs done easily nowadays.

2 thoughts on “Textile Craft: What Every Beginner Must Know

  1. Phyllis W. Shaw

    I visited several blogs but the feature coverage on articles and your research before writing article at this website is truly excellent. Thanks

  2. Earnest Jr Neely

    This post really covers what someone has to know on textile craft as a beginner. As I am very new to this field, just entered now, I got specific information. I keep reading your posts in future. Thanks for sharing..


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