Crewel is the sister of creative embroidery. The word “crewel” is derived from an old Welsh word meaning wool. Even in this century, crewel projects must include a wool thread, wool-blended threads, or wool yarn to be termed crewel. Keep in mind that projects containing wool need to be dry-cleaned.
The traditional crewel technique was and is worked with wool thread or Persian yarn on 100 percent linen twill. This very heavy fabric has a distinctive look with a diagonal pattern weave on both sides of the fabric. When using a bright or colorful fabric for crewel, use soft, lighter tones for the threads and yarn.