You must be wondering - if you've read the title correctly. Yes, you did. The word "wood" is neither a typo, nor a hallucination.
There really is a type of wood that can be used for embroidery. It's called Balsa. These intriguing trees grow naturally in the humid rain forests of Central and South America.
Balsa wood is extremely lightweight, strong and is available in thin sheets that can be compared to heavyweight paper in terms of thickness. For this reason Balsa sheets are often used for aircraft and other hobbies including machine embroidery.
Of course, Balsa is NOT a perfect material to embroider on it, because it's still wood... It's not elastic enough and if mistreated, can break. Yet, there is a reason why you may want to embroider on it. And this can be done successfully.
Most craft shops are full of unfinished wooden accessories that are usually used for tole painting - boxes in all shapes, newspaper racks, trays, jewelry boxes, recipes and tissue boxes, drawers, trash cans etc. All made of unfinished natural wood. You've probably seen such items hundreds of times.
Usually crafters paint on them and/or cover with some kind of varnish, to create beautiful, finished look.
As alternative to painting, you may put embroidery on such items. And here comes the Balsa, because it's exactly the same color and feel. You can hardly tell it's surface from one of all these boxes and other stuff.
A sheet of Balsa wood with embroidery on it can be easily glued to wooden box/tray and it looks as if the embroidery was put directly on that piece of furniture.
See by yourself what we mean - we've applied machine cross-stitch designs on cute kitchen trays. And after you look at the photos - scroll the page down, to read detailed instruction explaining how to embroider on sheet of Balsa wood, without destroying it