Definition of crewel in English:



  • A thin, loosely twisted, worsted yarn used for tapestry and embroidery.

    • ‘I have crewel yarn and silk thread, and I'm determined to make something of it.’
    • ‘Most often the handiwork of women in prosperous New England households from about 1720 to 1800, crewel embroidery consists of slackly twisted yams that are stitched onto plain-woven fabrics, usually linen, using a variety of stitches.’
    • ‘She had been working half-heartedly at the crewel embroidered shawl for some time.’
    • ‘To her, however, there was no distinction between plain linen and high-style crewel.’
    • ‘The silk shoes and the crewel panel at the Connecticut Historical Society enlarge the meaning of the bed sheet in the Beinecke.’


Late 15th century: of unknown origin.