Trend Alert: Tiny and Imperfect Embroidered Details, 5 Ways

For months I’ve been noticing tiny embroidered details appearing all over: on socks and lampshades, on table linens and even on cafe curtains. It’s a simple way to personalize a gift, spruce up a secondhand find, or freshen something you’ve tired of. (It’s also a sweet way to preserve a memory: Fan recently spotted a dinner party where guests were asked to sign their names on the tablecloth; the host later stitched over each one in thread for a keepsake of the night.)

Here’s a peek at a few examples….and maybe try your hand at stitching your own. Most importantly, your stitches needn’t be perfect: Unlike the fussy, machine-made monograms of yesteryear, today’s embroidered bits are a little appealingly wonky. It’s part of the charm.


a new offering from embroidery specialists ouevres sensibles: the serviette mot 12
Above: A new offering from embroidery specialists Ouevres Sensibles: the Serviette Mot Rouge Napkin (Red Word Napkin). Maker Sarah Espuete took cues “from the tradition of the ‘trousseau,’ a custom from the past where sheets, tablecloths, and napkins bore the intertwined initials of the betrothed, embroidered in red thread by the bride’s family”; the modern version features words like “Amour”, “Souvenirs”, and “Bon Vivant”. (For more, see Hand-Embroidered Table Linens from Oeuvres Sensibles in Marseille.)

Cafe Curtains

beloveds’ handwriting, preserved in stitches, as seen on a curtain  13
Above: Beloveds’ handwriting, preserved in stitches, as seen on a curtain at East London Cloth: Purveyors of Household Linens, Made to Last.