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Ink, acrylic paint and oil pastel

Contents Artist Statement Collection: Betsy Contact Details


Exploring the curiosities and routines of everyday life through the medium of hand embroidery, which offers unique and intricate qualities with craftsmanship and heritage embedded throughout the work. The collection is based around the character of Betsy and the everyday encounters of her life as a young woman. The project was sparked by a dress bought from a second hand shop which had the traces of the wearer before; burn holes which have caused the fabric to become almost crystallised through its interaction with the flame, contrasting 1960’s prints used to shorten the dress and a hand stitched hem around the sleeve, all acknowledging the owner before. How did these incidents happen and what kind of life did Betsy have? Intrigued by the imprint and contact the garment had before it began its new life. Hand embroidery has been used as the medium to explore these traces by truly engaging with the fabric and yarn; almost as though the trace of the maker is becoming ingrained in the dress as the previous of the wearer did before. Craftsmanship and the importance of heritage is a theme which under pins Emily’s practice. Capturing marks and lines from drawings then translating these qualities through a wide vocabulary of stitches. Intricately hand embroidered samples capture the essence of Betsy. Yarn and fabric are chosen appropriately, taking into account the qualities of the drawings and the overall feel they will give. Working by eye the samples can be loosely stitched yet with the highest attention to detail and quality. Colour and composition play a huge role within the making process which gives the embroidery a modern aesthetic. Challenging the notions of the traditional Emily pushes what is expected from hand embroidery. Working by hand truly adds intricate details that modern machinery cannot. Stitching narratives, the investigation of what a garment can tell and the stories that can be created through marks and interactions we make between our garments and everyday lives has created a collection that has challenged the relationship of embroidery and cloth.


Hand Embroidery onto satin, link, stem and running stitch, couching. Linen, wool and silk threads


Silk shading, stem, running and link stitch, pulled threads from the weave, linen, wool, silk and viscose threads.


Zip, linen, paper and silk yarns, couching, knotting and link stitch


Leather, French knots, couching, stem, link, tacking, and running stitch. Embroidered with a variety of linen, paper, viscose, wool and silk yarns.


Contact me: ethomastextiles@aol.com drawingwiththread.wordpress.com linkedin: emily-thomas/86/811/286 twitter: emilyythomaset pinerest: tillyflossem

Muslin embroidered with linen and slik threads using a herringbone, stem, and link stitches

Emily Thomas: Storytelling Through Stitch