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World Embroidery Series

World Embroidery Series


This series is a collection of hand embroidery traditions from around the world. Originally, this series was created as a professional development course for Waldorf handwork teachers to expand their embroidery 'vocabulary' and raise awareness of global techniques that may not be found in traditional Waldorf schools, where embroidery is usually limited to central European styles. They are equally valuable for anyone who wants to learn a variety of embroidery techniques and their cultural and historical significance. The projects in this series are not usually directly taught in 4th grade embroidery. However, the scope and complexity may be modified for younger children or high school age children. Join us as we stitch our way around the world!


These 4 extensive instructional videos will offer the background, techniques, and variations of these traditions from Europe, India, Mexico, and Japan. Shellie Smith, of WHE, will teach Mexican Otomi, a very colorful tradition, rich with symbolism, originally from Hidalgo, Mexico. Elizabeth Seward, of WHE, will introduce pulled thread needlework from Europe. This is one of the earliest forms of open work embroidery that has been found throughout Europe as early as the 13th century. Our Japanese colleague, Yoriko Yamamoto, will teach the art and history of Japanese Sashiko, an ancient form of embroidery used for mending that has become very popular today. Our colleague in India, Rowena Ribeiro, will share the techniques, origins, and deep symbolism of Indian kantha stitching. 


This series includes two bonus videos. One of the bonus videos is an interview with Stephanie Schneiderman, an expert on Otomi heritage and symbolism. And the other is made by our colleague in The Philippines, Malou Medrano, who shows us how traditional Filipino embroidery techniques are used to imbue symbols of health and wellness onto a modern covid mask.


Get your needle and thread ready and join us as we stitch our way around the world!

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