Illustrator, designer, and photographer Emillie Ferris is making animal lovers’ dreams come true with her custom embroidered pet portraits. With 13-18 hours of careful handiwork, gifted 21-year-old creates what she calls “paintings with thread” that capture the unique faces of beloved cats and dogs with stunning detail and hyperrealistic accuracy. Every shade of scruff, each precise whisker, and every last furry feature is rendered in her intricately stitched fiber, with the tones and texture honoring the animals’ truest quirks.
Ferris first began exploring embroidery two years ago as a hobby, but she seems to have quickly mastered the self-taught craft, which she says she loves because “it is timeless, unique and requires a lot of patience.” She uses DMC embroidery floss—best for fine details—on calico material that’s stretched across a hand-stained 5” circular hoop. The most challenging part of the process, she explains, “is trying to find the perfect colour for a portrait, as you can’t easily mix colour as you would with paint, thus I have to create the illusion of it!”
Each work is based on a photo provided by the pet's owner and costs £248 (around $350) plus international shipping, with a two- to six-week turnaround. Ferris’ work is in high demand, so she only opens five slots at a time in her Etsy shop, and they tend to go fast. Hopeful customers are encouraged to sign up for her newsletter to learn when she’s releasing new opportunities.
All images via Emillie Ferris.