HNW -blackwork (was: X-Mailer: USANET web-mailer (M3.0.0.118)) EowynA at
Mon Jun 7 08:03:02 PDT 1999

In a message dated 6/7/99 5:27:33 AM, you wrote:

<<when doing blackwork, should you use only one strand of embroidery
thread or two?>>

Evidence appears to support using one strand.  If you want a thicker line, 
use a thicker thread.  

I have found that black tatting cord (size 80) is a very reasonable 
alternative to black floss.  It has the advantages of not needing to be 
separated, and it seems to be less "hairy".

<< I am currently makeing a blackwork table cloth and napkins for my feastgear
box and wanted it to look period.

Also, besides black, were there other colors that it was done in?>>

I assume you are doing the Spanish stitch version of blackwork?  That is, a 
band of a design?  (rather than filling a larger design with diapering 
patterns, or filling one with speckling stitches, or placing spot motifs, or 
reversible herringbone, or some such thing).  

Yes, Spanish stitch bands were done in other colors, as well as black (which 
was the overwhelming favorite).  A ca. 1540-1550 shirt in the V&A has a band 
done in blue thread.  Red was also fairly common.  You might also choose dark 
brown, since many of the blacks at the time faded to brown. 

Have you seen the New Carolingian ModelBook?  It has many band patterns 
charted for easy use,with citations for where the patterns appeared.

Have fun!
Melinda Sherbring         (a.k.a.  Eowyn Amberdrake)

Go to to perform mailing list tasks.

More information about the H-needlework mailing list