The Art of the Needle

The Art of the Needle – sewing and embroideries

Arta acului

 Sewing and embroideries represent the trade of decorating the textile and the leather materials, used for making the products as costumes and for household wearing. The decorating elements and the colours with specific shades makes the trade different from one area to another, keeping its unicity.

 Decorating by sewing is a trade what uses a wide variety of sewn points on the linen, points sewn after sewing the background weaving and points sewn by using spangles and beads

 Sewing – trade which highlights the specific of the area in which we can encounter both the practical sense and the artistic taste.

 Embroideries – trade which appeared as a new decorating type – broken sewing on counted points.


Brief history

The taste for beauty, skillfulness and talent made their point in sewing and embroideries what decorated objects of the costume (female and male shirts) and interior textiles (towels, kerchiefs, table cloths, bed sheets).


Among the wearing objects, the shirts and the head towels made of cotton were decorated with a pattern sewn with art in a first stage, and later, in the 19th century, the pattern made by sewing or embroidery expanded to the other above mentioned categories.

Sewing was the most known process in making different decorating motifs: associating the sewn points on the linen surface, after tracing the background cloth threads. In the same category there are included the functional sewing, too, used for uniting the linen sheets or for bordering them.



Another stage of evolution represents the appearance of the sewing used for making a decoration. In this way, Neamt area is famous for its decoration met at both the costume pieces and at table cloths, towels, kerchiefs.


Speaking about the trade of sewing and embroidery, in Neamt area there was and still is a true art of talented women who make, on cotton linen, using with talent the needle and respecting a valuable tradition at the same time, interesting compositions based especially on geometrical motifs, but on floral stylish ones, too. This way there have reached the most suitable solutions that a wonderful embroidery decoration should be made on the women shirts.


Raw materials and working techniques

The raw materials used in sewing art and embroidery are clothing made either at home using the sewing technique or bought from the commerce (coarse muslin, canvas, frieze and others), embroidered with threads of different thicknesses and colours. The raw material is chosen according to the product’s destination. It has to be mentioned that for the products of popular art raw materials of natural threads are recommended: cotton, flax, hemp, silk, wool). As working tools there are used the scissors, the needle and, in some cases, the tambour.

The sewing trade limits itself to making products such as embroidered peasant shirts, shirts, hems, homespun peasant trousers, long, coarse-stuff peasant coats, table cloths, kerchiefs, bed sheets, curtains, etc

The trade of embroidery represents an aesthetical, decorating completion of every product, trade practiced with a lot of skillfulness and talent by most of the housewives. The decorating elements made by embroidery give the main feature of a product regarding the ethnographic area.

cusaturi_1The ornaments placing, the colours combination, are closely related to the destination of each product. The popular decorating motifs specific to the use of each product are disposed by certain rules passed from one generation to another.

The components of the popular costume, embroidered peasant shirts, hems, shirts, long furred coats, products with rich ornaments disposed according to certain rules, are representative for the art of embroidery. For example, the same decoration appears on the sleeves and shirts-front, divided after a known scheme: streams of ornaments, folders and rivers.


All these ornaments are made by embroidering with the needle, reaching compositions of special refinery, in which finesse is the most obvious characteristic. To their beauty it contributes the colouring white on white, which proves to be sober and completely elegant.


Through the appearance of the coloured thread (the beginning of the 19th century), the motifs are remarked in an obvious way, without harshness and offensive agglomeration. Embroidering the interior textiles (table cloths, pillow sheets, towels, etc) respect certain rules in placing the ornaments: the decorating motifs appear placed either as a square which surrounds the weaving or grouped in corners, making the impression of a harmonious balance.


cusaturi_2In the category of the embroidery and sewing trade there can be included the art of making long furred embroidered coats, as a result of replacing the traditional skins with cloth on which they can embroider. The diversity of these coats is given by the specific ornaments not only to the specific ethnographical area, but also to the community.







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