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                                 rewel is simple--

    Simple in its very nature and simple to do;
and in its simplicity lies its appeal to
many contemporary needleartists.  
Very little in the nature of specialized equipment is needed to design and work crewel; and other than obvious advancements such as electric light and improvements in the manufacture and standardization of materials, the creation of crewel has remained unchanged for millennia. 

Crewel was originally developed and brought to the level of high art by needleartists living primarily in relatively rural isolation in a much less populated world than we now know.  Whether they were empresses or noblewomen, serfs or slaves, very few were artists or designers as we understand the term, yet  they had more personal creative input in the production of their embroidery than the majority of contemporary needleartists do.

One doesn't need a computer to create crewel, or software, space in the house or apartment dedicated to the working of it, magnifying glasses, artistic ability, or even a designer, and it's completely portable.  The very little one needs to produce heirloom quality crewel is relatively inexpensive and readily available.

So, where does one start? It begins with a line drawing...
The Embroidery
Using the almost five hundred shades of crewel wool commercially available, the needleartist "colors" in the cartoon outline to create a lovely crewel work. 
Transferring the Cartoon to the Base Fabric
The cartoon is transferred to the base fabric upon which it will be embroidered with artist's tracing paper, as opposed to sewing tracing paper. 
The Cartoon
The cartoon is a simple line drawing of the design with little detail and no color or stitch information. It resembles a page in a child's coloring book, completely open to the needleartist's imaginative and decorative impulses.