BBC World Cup Animation - Pele & Geoff Hurst

The World Cup in Machine Embroidery!

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BBC World Cup Animation - Ball
Amazeballs! Photo Credit: London Embroidery Studio

The World Cup has just started and over here in the UK, this means we’re in for a few weeks of jubilation and national pride until we get knocked out in the quarter finals or something. I’m not a big football fan – in case that wasn’t already obvious – but it’s great to see so many countries coming together in good spirits for a change.

BBC World Cup Animation - Messi & Ronaldo
Pretty epic embroidery – Messi on the front but tidy on the back! Photo Credit: BBC Sport/BBC Creative

The reason I’m talking about the world’s biggest football event on the world’s best embroidery website is because the BBC have using animated machine embroidery in the titles for their World Cup programming!

BBC World Cup Animation - Making Of
Individual frames – 600 were produced in total. Photo Credit: BBC Sport/BBC Creative

The project took six months to produce and was directed by Nicos Livesey whose machine embroidered animation we’ve featured on here before. His heavy metal video for the band Throne was remarkable in it’s production – check out the video here.

BBC World Cup Animation - Pele & Geoff Hurst
That one time when England won the Cup! Photo Credit: London Embroidery Studio

The video celebrates key moments from World Cup history and includes a crying Gazza (with angry Gary Lineker) and a hoard of thunderclapping Icelanders as well as other icons, accompanied by a stirring theme tune.

BBC World Cup Animation - Making Of
Gary Lineker is not pleased! But he is machine stitched! Photo Credit: BBC Sport/BBC Creative

In the film the pieces are produced by a machine that looks like something from a brutalist Bladerunner environment…

BBC World Cup Animation - Tapestry Machine
Fancy one of these in your craft room? Photo Credit: BBC Sport/BBC Creative

Whereas in reality the frames were stitched by the London Embroidery Studio over a period of three weeks! It’s an amazing video and will place machine embroidery in the minds of even the most laddish of beings. Maybe this is a turning point for embroidery – who knows…

BBC World Cup Animation - History Will Be Made
That’s what they all say! – Photo Credit: BBC Sport/BBC Creative

If you’re in the UK, you can see the seven metre long Tapestry featuring many of these World Cup moments which will be on display at the National Football Museum in Manchester from 12th June to 1st September.

BBC World Cup Animation - Frank Lampard
Let’s be Frank (Lampard) it’s great to see stitching on the telly! Photo Credit: London Embroidery Studio

But if you want to get a sense of the project, here’s the video! Tell us what you think in the comments!

Jamie "Mr X Stitch" Chalmers

Hi, I’m Jamie “MrXStitch” Chalmers and since 2008 I’ve been on a mission to change the way the world thinks about needlecraft.

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