Difference Between Sewing and Embroidery

Sewing vs Embroidery

Sewing and embroidery are two arts that are known to mankind since ancient times. It is sewing that makes possible making of garments to be worn by men, women, and kids. Embroidery is a similar art that is primarily used to decorate fabrics and garments. There are similarities in the two arts that create confusion in the minds of the people. Both make use of needles and threads but require different sets of skills. There are many differences between sewing and embroidery that will be highlighted in this article.


Sewing is an art that is used to join together faces and edges of fabric to create garments. It is a craft that is known to mankind since ancient times. It was there even before man learnt to make thread or yarn as fur or grasses were used to stitch together skin or hides of animals. This was done with the help of animal bones or stones. But today, sewing can be done using hands or with a sewing machine. Thread is used to sew a garment and small stitches are made to hold the two edges together. Sewing is not to be confused with embroidery or knitting as it is a constructive craft that is not used for decoration. Sewing is necessary to make functional clothes.


Embroidery is a craft that makes use of needles and threads to create beautiful patterns and designs over fabrics. It is a decorative art that makes raised patterns over fabrics to beautify the necklines, waistlines, and even the entire garment meant to be worn on special occasions. Embroidery is also done on bed sheets, quilts, and table covers to make them more beautiful. Till the arrival of mechanization, kings and nobles patronized skilled artisans to make embroidered clothing for themselves. There was a time when such clothes were used only by the rich and wealthy. But today, embroidery has become very common and is done with machines for large scale commercial production. Embroidery is also used to make personalized workwear for advertisement and branding purposes. To make ornamental raised patterns, threads of silk, silver, gold, and cotton are used through embroidery over different fabrics. Monograms and badges used in institutions are usually embroidered.

What is the difference between Sewing and Embroidery?

• Sewing is a constructive craft, whereas embroidery is a decorative art.

• Garments cannot be produced without sewing thereby making it a more functional craft than embroidery.

• Embroidery creates raised designs and patterns over fabric, whereas sewing creates stitches to hold together edges and faces of fabrics.

• There are differences in methods of sewing and embroidery.

• The threads used for embroidery are also different from threads used for sewing.

• Sewing can be done using hands or with a sewing machine while embroidery is also done with hands or with the help of embroidery machines.

• Embroidery was once considered an expensive art and the garments so produced were used by royalties and nobles.

• Embroidery is also used to create badges for institutions and armed forces units to give a unique identity to the members.