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11 Oct 2011

Blackwork


June   2005

Blackwork,  also sometimes known as Spanish work,  is known to have been stitched as far back as Tudor times.
It’s believed that Catherine of Aragon  brought garments with the delicate stitching on them with her when she came to England to marry King Henry VIII  and there is also evidence in paintings of Anne Boyne  and Jane Seymour having Blackwork on their clothes.




The technique is a counted thread embroidery made up of simple  lines of stitching that form complex and intricate


designs using a combination of backstitch, stem stitch and double running or Holbein stitch. 

As the name suggests, the embroidery was traditionally stitched with Black silk but nowadays it can be seen stitched in many different colours giving it a very modern feel.  Also the designs have changed from the traditional geometric or small floral patterns that were popular to much larger designs of flowers, fruit and even ladies in period costumes as well as chessboards and maps.




My first attempt  is a lot more modest I have to say.

I went for a small kit a hot air balloon  I found in my local needlecraft shop which is stitched in the traditional Black but with highlights of Gold threat to add a bit of interest .


I’m not quite sure what happened to the finished piece. 
I either made it into a card to give to someone or I sent it to my friend Nicki to make into one of the cushions for Kids Company but I really can’t remember.

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