The origins of embroidery can be traced back to the Warring States period in China (500-300BC) and to Sweden's Migration period (300-700AD), and some would argue that it hasn't changed much over the centuries:
Embroidery art often seeks to mimic nature, but Australian visual artist Meredith Woolnough has a special technique we've never seen before. By using water-soluble fabric, her beautiful embroidery, which is inspired by nature's most graceful forms, gains a new dimension of lightness and delicacy.
Machine embroidery basics - totally new to machine embroidery? Check this out. It may look automatic, but really there's technique, skill, proper materials, and a fair amount of voodoo involved to make it work right. Kidding about the voodoo. Kind of.