HNW - HNW blackwork or embroidery??

Carol Thomas scbooks at
Mon Aug 3 07:06:22 PDT 1998

>I've seen pictures with folks who wore colored work on white (or 
>other colors) and assumed that was embroidery rather than blackwork.  
> What distinguishes blackwork from embroidery?

There are many, many types of embroidery.  The East Kingdom Embroiderer's
Guild in the SCA has 12 major categories of embroidery before 1600, of which
blackwork is only one.  The others may have hundreds of stitches and pattern
types included in them.

>  Is it strictly in the 
>patterns?  Is blackwork always the same front and back?

It can be reversible, or not.  Some patterns cannot be made reversible, such
as a pattern with a X in the middle of a shape, with no connection visible
on the front.  Since most blackwork was black, it is called that.  There
were examples, though, that are virtually indentical in stitch and pattern,
but in other colors.

Lady Carllein

Updated: June 5th 

Making a list, checking it twice...and hoping to get through Pennsic SANE!


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