1) A thin worsted yarn of two threads, used for tapestry and embroidery.
It is found most commonly in the plural, and the spellings varied considerably: 1453 j cofre cum jocalibus … et le furfillingthred [purfilling?], crules et suyngthred, Ripon
1559 3 qwissing coveringes of crewles at 2s 8d a piece, North Stainley
1588 one blacke girdell of crowlles, Downholme
1617 to buy crules for chaires and stooles, Brandsby
1682 some cruelle and grene silke fringe, Halifax. The following is an early reference to crewel-work: 1568 fyve buffet stolles … one with croylle nedle worke, Healaugh.