The Incredible Thread Portraits of Andrea Cryer

The love of sewing and textile was passed on to Andrea Cryer by her parents. “I learned about sewing and developed my love of textiles from both my parents,” she shared with Textile Artist. “My mom made clothes and knitted cardigans for me and my three sisters. My dad was a tailor who made fabulous suits with wonderful linings.” As such, she mastered the art of sewing by the time she went to school.

Now a celebrated textile artist in her own right, Cryer combines hand stitching with machine stitching – or as she puts it “drawing with thread and writing with stitch”. The finished result is a remarkable rendition of the classic portrait or landscape painting.

“When drawing with thread, I tend to use black and a range of grey yarns on differing weights of fabric, such as cotton, canvas and linen,” Cryer explains. “Colour is added using disperse dyes which I hand print onto the drawn image after it has been stitched. This is a labour intensive process as each colour is applied separately and may be built up in layers to achieve the depth of tone or effect needed.”

Cryer’s work has been exhibited both nationally and internationally. Most recently, she took part in @tomcroftartist‘s initiative to create a free portrait of an NHS worker. See the portrait and other creations by Cryer in the gallery below.