Updated May 23, 2023.
An article in a 1903 issue of The Craftsman said
It is … desirable that the work retain its original, pleasing characteristics of slight irregularity and imperfection, – not to say carelessness, – were it only to avoid the appearance of machine-wrought embroidery.
This quote caught my eye because, as stitchers, we have different opinions about imperfection in needlework. Even more so the professional embroiderers of this period could easily produce perfect work but instead chose to introduce imperfection in needlework as a virtue, showing it was, indeed, hand-made.
I’ve seen both ends of the spectrum myself. I got a model back once that was so perfectly stitched it could have been done by machine. Every stitch had the same tension, every stitch was untwisted. I knew that there was a perfection I could only wish to attain.
On the other hand, I’ve seen, and stitched, plenty of sloppy work with missed stitches, uneven stitches, and all.
As I’ve said in the past, I greatly respect the work of our hands and don’t like the current acceptance of sloppy work for sale that we see so often.
The happy medium should be somewhere between machine-like perfection and sloppiness.
For myself, I’m willing to live with some uneven tension, occasionally twisted threads where it doesn’t make much difference and, now that my eyes aren’t as good, a skipped stitch or two.
So yes, I don’t mind imperfection in needlework, and I agree with this quote.
How about you?