Various explanations have been offered as to the distinction between "needle-work" and "cunning work." Probably neither term expresses just what is to-day understood by embroidery, though the latter may come nearest to it. The art of embroidery by the loom was extensively practiced among the nations of antiquity. In addition to the Egyptians, the Babylonians were celebrated for it.
Main reference: Smith's Bible Dictionary (1860s)
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