embroidery

Embroidery is the act of decorating a piece of cloth with a stitched design. You may have seen large medieval examples of embroidery hanging on the walls of museums depicting flowers and wild animals and the like.

Embroidery also has a common figurative meaning of something deceptive, or an excessive and unnecessary detail designed to mislead, or simply something vain and foolish (see embellishment.) The great American designer Buckminster Fuller summed up this sense of the word nicely: "Tombs are the clothes of the dead and a grave is a plain suit; while an expensive monument is one with embroidery."

Definitions of embroidery
  1. noun
    decorative needlework
    synonyms: fancywork
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    types:
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    candlewick
    loops of soft yarn are cut to give a tufted pattern
    crewelwork
    embroidery done with loosely twisted worsted yarn
    cross-stitch
    embroidery done with pairs of stitches that cross each other
    cutwork
    embroidery in which the design is outlined in a buttonhole stitch and the intervening material is cut away
    drawnwork
    ornamental needlework done by drawing threads to form lacelike patterns
    faggoting, fagoting
    embroidery in which groups of parallel threads are tied together with fagot stitches
    hemstitch
    embroidery similar to drawnwork
    needlepoint, needlepoint embroidery
    embroidery consisting of allover embroidered canvas resembling tapestry
    sampler
    a piece of embroidery demonstrating skill with various stitches
    smocking
    embroidery consisting of ornamental needlework on a garment that is made by gathering the cloth tightly in stitches
    gros point
    needlepoint embroidery done with large stitches
    petit point
    needlepoint done with small stitches
    type of:
    needlecraft, needlework
    a creation created or assembled by needle and thread
  2. noun
    elaboration of an interpretation by the use of decorative (sometimes fictitious) detail
    synonyms: embellishment
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    type of:
    elaboration, enlargement, expansion
    a discussion that provides additional information
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