Kimberley Adams’ Embroidered Portraits

Gear Threads Is The Mr X Stitch Machine Embroidery Column - Presented By Urban Threads!

Welcome to Gear Threads, where we showcase artists who are elevating machine embroidery to new heights!

Kimberley Adams is a fine artist who incorporates knitting, felting, hand embroidery, free machine embroidery, and more into her work. This captivating collection of stitched pieces reflects her own slightly unravelling relationship to her own body…

Adams writes

Currently my work is engaged in the exploration of ‘the gaze’ and the image of the ‘self’. Through the use of portraiture, aggressive embroidery and latex as an aid to achieve disfigurement, these mediums are blurred and layered in order to render the piece abstracted. My drive revolves around my sense of personal and bodily confusion after dramatic weight loss and highlights my personal sense of uncertainty. Through both the content and medium of my works, facial features are abstracted and partially hidden in an attempt at rejecting the attention and narrative of the gaze which acts to disrupt the power dynamic between the observer and the observed.

I’m loving the physicality of these, and the juxtaposition of realistic imagery with loose threads — what Adams describes as “an attempt to connect the subject (me) to the spectator.”

She’s done more striking textile portraits, too…

See more of Kimberley Adams’ stunning work here and here.

What Technique Is This?

This is free machine embroidery and if you want to find out more about it, check out our dedicated post!
We’ve featured some great free machine artists on the site – here are four you might like!

Urban Threads - Unique and Awesome Machine Embroidery Designs

Gear Threads is brought to you from the offbeat gals at Urban Threads. Created by illustrator Niamh O’Connor, Urban Threads is revolutionizing machine embroidery one edgy, elegant, innovative, and/or offbeat design at a time. Discover the future of digital stitchery at