Loosely twisted worsted yarn used for fancywork and embroidery.(noun)
American Heritage(R) Dictionary of the English Language, Fifth Edition. Copyright (c) 2011 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.
Use "crewel" in a sentence
"The material used was through all the phases the same, viz., a twill fabric, of which the warp was of linen, the weft of cotton; the wools varied somewhat in the twist, but were always worsted, the word crewel being a diminutive of clew, "a ball of thread," and probably came into vogue with the importation of wools from Germany, the corresponding word in that language being _Knäuel_."
"Old examples of work done entirely in crewel-stitch, as distinguished from what is called crewel work, are seldom if ever to be met with."
"For work in the hand, CREWEL-STITCH is perhaps, on the whole, the easiest and most useful of stitches; whence it comes that people sometimes vaguely call all embroidery crewel work; though, as a matter of fact, the stitch properly so called was never very commonly employed, even when the work was done in "crewel," the double thread of twisted wool from which it takes its name."