One of the most-seen trends on the catwalks for Spring / Summer 18, the traditional fabric “broderie anglaise”, also called “English embroidery”, celebrates a big revival this season.

Our range crafted from organic cotton just landed on our website and makes us yearn for spring. Broderie anglaise is associated with fresh, light and romantic styling. No matter if it’s crafted into a dress, top or skirt, it has an effortlessly chic look.

But what exactly makes it so special? In celebration of our new collection we’re tracing the story of this unique material in this blog.

 

The history

English embroidery is a fabric bound into fashion culture, rich in history and tradition.

Originated in the 16th century, the technique was first developed in Eastern Europe. From then it has evolved and spread widely, having been worn by fashion icons all over the world.

As the name suggests, it became especially popular in England during the 19th century, where it was mainly used for undergarments or for bridal wear.

 

The fabric

The term broderie anglaise describes the special design technique of the fabric, not the fibre like cotton. It is a variety of whitework which includes all types of embroidery made with white thread on white fabric, traditionally linen or cotton.

Originally handcrafted, this fabric is characterised by round or oval holes cut into the material and hemmed with satin stitches. In some cases the fabric was pierced before overcasting the edges, in others the shapes were embroidered first and later cut. The outcome was the same, resulting in patterns like decorative flowers, leaves and vines, which create the romantic characteristic of the broderie anglaise.

 

The collection

This special technique of the English embroidery creates a wearable and more robust lace-like design. Crafted from organic cotton fibres the material is solid, yet comes with the characteristic soft touch of the Fairtrade certified People Tree cotton.

Our collection includes a dress, a skirt and two tops, all crafted from airy fabric which flows along your figure. Small details like frills, pleats and appliquéd hems round up the feminine look.

These styles have been crafted by the women at Creative Handicrafts, an Indian Fair Trade enterprise that works to empower disadvantaged women socially, culturally and economically – changing the world one woman at a time.

 

The perfect way to style

Worn for a Sunday walk at the markets or to a summer party, this fabric possesses a unique effortless elegance that translates from morning to evening.

 

For a weekend stroll through the city, pair the wide-sleeved Mary top with cool blue cotton culottes and your favourite white sneakers.

 

The Lynn shirt with smart ruffle details goes well for after work drinks dressing it up with the elegant black Monica trousers.

 

Perfect for a garden party dress up the Nidia dress with the pink Meredith cardigan and a matching lipstick.

 

At the seaside, wear the skirt with our Breton and ballet flats to spread French charm.

 

Thanks to the classic white cotton and the timeless shapes, there are endless ways to style the collection depending on the occasion. Broderie anglaise is a versatile fabric and it is so much fun experimenting different looks with your new pieces. Try it out!