Cretan embroidery is notable for its exquisite variety of patterns, symbolism and techniques. Depending on the technique employed, embroideries are classified as "drawn" (grafta), bearing patterns drawn free hand onto the fabric, "counted" (metrita-xombliasta), made by counting the threads in the fabric, and "poured" (chyta-xedifista).

Many embroideries, such as hems, church decorations, pillows and valances are based on the Byzantine tradition, featuring decorative motifs with complex floral designs, mermaids, double-headed eagles, winged snakes, snakes, animals, birds and female figures at prayer.

Others, most of which are 20th century framed embroideries or decorations, feature proverbs or figures drawn from history or mythology.

Village girls at an embroidery class (Stella Kopidaki, Grigoria, Messara)
Time to do embroidery after the tiring household chores
Part of an embroidery with representations of human figures (Benaki Museum, Athens)
Cretan sofa decorated with an embroidered cover and cushions
Cretan Byzantine embroidery (Historical Museum of Crete, © S.C.H.S, Heraklion)
Cretan embroidery (Historical Museum of Crete, © S.C.H.S, Heraklion)