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  • Publisher: Search Press
  • Edition: BC Paperback
  • Publication: 12 March 2020
  • ISBN 13/EAN: 9781782217893
  • Stock: 50+
  • Size: 204x260 mm
  • Illustrations: 110
  • Pages: 64
  • RRP Price: $26.99
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Beginner’s Guide to Blackwork


by Lesley Wilkins

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Book Description

Blackwork is a classic 16th-century embroidery technique, in which beautiful designs are created by stitching geometric designs onto evenweave fabric.

Inspired by the past, Lesley Wilkins illustrates her techniques with a whole host of wonderful designs flowers, plants, birds, animals and figures. She covers everything from the materials to use and working with a chart, to getting started and how to stitch. Patterns are created by small stitched units which are combined in many different ways some heavily textured, some delicate and light. Borders can be built up by repeating and joining motifs. Clear step-by-step photographs accompany the author's comprehensive instructions, and the motifs, borders, fill-in patterns and images are all charted, with inspirational pictures of embroideries showing how to build up finished designs.

Table of Contents

Materials & equipment
Using charts
Getting started
Flowers and plants
Figures, birds and animals
Fill-in patterns
Mounting your work

About the Author

About Lesley Wilkins

Lesley Wilkins discovered blackwork samplers on a school visit to the Victoria and Albert Museum in London when she was only ten, and has been hooked ever since. Her fascination with the craft has led her to become not only an embroiderer of extraordinary skill, but also an expert in the history of blackwork. She has collected thousands of patterns from all over the world, and her own work is inspired by historical motifs, patterns and borders. Her designs have appeared in Needlecraft and Needlework magazines, and also edited her own embroidered sampler magazine Antique Samplerstitcher for nine years which contained many blackwork designs.

Now that she has retired early from local government, Lesley continues to self-publish a variety of embroidered projects online.



Blackwork embroidery gives such a stunning effect and can be used to embellish a specific piece by choosing particular motifs or you can make cushions, wall hangings and samplers.

With this kind of embroidery, the trick is to get the back looking identical to the front. Although this is not a necessary requirement, I do think it gives an extra sense of achievement if it can be done.

The designs in this book are amazing, some are very simple and others have a look of intricacy in them. There are figures, flowers, borders and much much more, this gives a lot of inspiration if you want to design your own piece. I loved the alphabet designs and the idea of adding colour to the blackwork gives an elegant feel.

Fabric choices are aida, renewable and hardanger and a selection of threads are recommended.

This is a craft for every level of expertise, the author gives a very comprehensive lesson in the art. From choosing and placing your designs to framing your finished piece, you are guided step-by-step through the process.

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