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worsted yarn for embroidery and edging
Not to be confused with:
cruel – willfully causing pain or distress; merciless
Abused, Confused, & Misused Words by Mary Embree Copyright © 2007, 2013 by Mary Embree


1. Loosely twisted worsted yarn used for fancywork and embroidery.
2. Crewelwork.

[Middle English crule.]
American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fifth Edition. Copyright © 2016 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.


(Textiles) a loosely twisted worsted yarn, used in fancy work and embroidery
[C15: of unknown origin]
ˈcrewelist n
ˈcrewelˌwork, ˈcrewellery n
Collins English Dictionary – Complete and Unabridged, 12th Edition 2014 © HarperCollins Publishers 1991, 1994, 1998, 2000, 2003, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2011, 2014


(ˈkru əl)

1. Also called crew′el yarn`. a worsted yarn for embroidery and edging.
[1485–95; orig. uncertain]
Random House Kernerman Webster's College Dictionary, © 2010 K Dictionaries Ltd. Copyright 2005, 1997, 1991 by Random House, Inc. All rights reserved.
References in periodicals archive ?
Crafted textures Choose handcrafted soft furnishings: needlepoint and natural fiber rugs, crisp hand-blocked linens and embroidered crewels for island authenticity.
'As well as traditional fabrics, I will be stocking more unusual types of material such as crewels, which are hand-woven cotton fabrics direct from Kashmir.'
Crewels and chain stitched-embellished organdies offer a handmade look that continues to be a significant part of the business.