Embroidered Photography


Photograph embroidery is a method of enhancing a photograph by adding embroidered stitching onto of it, using a needle and thread. The main materials used are thick photographic paper and images printed on canvas or materials. The image can be of any subject but I have found portraits, due to their single subject, work well for this process.


For the purpose of this study the following question(s) were addressed:

  1. What colours of thread work best for embroidering over low key photographs?



My prediction is that I have the needle work ability to produce an embroidered image. Also that the process can be completed sufficiently on ordinary photo paper.


Maurizio Anzeri:


Hinke Schreuders:


  • Embroidery Kit: Needle, floss and hoop
  • Photograph
  • Measured card
  • Scissors
  • Print out paper (POP), semi-gloss paper or gelatine silver paper



  • Capture portrait or landscape photographs.
  • Print photograph on to semi gloss paper, Gelatine Silver Paper or Print Off Paper (POP).
  • Apply spray mount glue and stick the photograph to a measured piece of card for structural support.
  • Consider the preferred layout and sketch onto the photograph.
  • Start to sew the subject.
  • Aim to push the needle trough the same hole to avoid any unwanted broken surface.






I have found the craftsmanship of this process to be very appealing. I have enjoyed physically enhancing my own photographs with the use of embroidery. I have aimed to provide and Indian head wear theme within my style and approach. I found the process fairly easy, however there are slight imperfections that I could have improved. However, due to limited time and other processes being more demanding, I only managed to complete one embroidered photograph.



[1] A BEAUTIFUL MESS. (2014) Embroidered Photo Art. [Online] Available from: http://www.abeautifulmess.com/2014/03/embroidered-photo-art.html              [Accessed: 13th January 2016]

[2] JOE. (2016) Melissa Zexter Interview: Embroidered Photography. Textile Artist.org. [Online] Artist interview, mixed media, stich. Available from: http://www.textileartist.org/melissa-zexter-interview-embroidered-photography/ [Accessed: 13th January 2016]

[3] SUBLIME STICHING. (2016) Hand Embroidery Tutorials by Jenny Hart. [Online] Available from: http://sublimestitching.com/pages/tutorials                                 [Accessed: 13th January 2016]

[4] THE DESIGN OBSERVER GROUP. (2014) John Foster: The Renewed Art of Embroidered Photographs. [Online] Accessed at: http://designobserver.com/feature/the-renewed-art-of-embroidered-photographs/38301/                                                                                                              [Accessed 13th January 2016]

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