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What Is Embroidery?



What Is Embroidery?
Reading Level
     edHelper's suggested reading level:   grades 4 to 7
     Flesch-Kincaid grade level:   6.34

Vocabulary
     challenging words:    economical, embroiderers, embroidery, neatly-stitched, present-day, russet, workbox, intricate, dated, versatile, survival, shroud, sinew, archaeologists, empress, craftsman
     content words:    Middle East, What Not, Imperial Palace Museum, Persian Gulf, Middle Ages, Bayeux Tapestry


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What Is Embroidery?
By Colleen Messina
  

1     In 1964, archaeologists found the fossilized remains of a hunter. He dated back to 30,000 B.C. He was discovered near Vladimir, Russia and was quite well dressed. His fuzzy fur clothing was decorated with neatly-stitched horizontal rows of ivory beads. Even his fuzzy fur boots had decorations on them. This hunter's clothing is an early example of embroidery.
 
2     The Russian hunter proved that embroidery has been around for a very long time. As long as people have sewn clothing, they have decorated it with stitching. Embroidery began in the Middle East and the Orient. The first people who slashed animal skins together with sinew had more than survival in mind. They also had a sense of fashion. After all, they didn't want to be nominated for a prehistoric version of What Not to Wear!
 
3     The history of stitching is as detailed as an embroidered tapestry. Let's look at some examples of fine embroidery throughout the ages. The first form of true thread embroidery may have been done in China in about 3,500 B.C. The Chinese used silk thread, pearls, and precious gems to decorate their clothing. The clothing looked elegant, but it was hard to wash!

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