HNW - Re: blackwork - starting and ending

Frank Thallas hardcorps at
Wed Aug 16 12:51:07 PDT 2000

  Greetings, and welcome!
    First of all, blackwork isn't necessarily seen from both sides - it
depends on the use you're putting it to.  A ruffle
like Jane Seymour's sleeves, a ruff, yep.  A cuff or collar, nope.  Of
course you still want your back as tidy as possible,  since lumps and long
threads are liable to show through fine fabric.....
    On to the question - assuming double-running stitch?
This is my method; I'm sure someone else has a different one just as good.
    First, work with the longest thread you can, without it becoming frayed.
Make a waste knot, and sink the needle 2-3 inches from where you will begin
Leave this knot on the surface while you work the rest of the thread.
    At the end of the thread, weave the end as neatly as possible under the
stitches on the back side of the work -
this will make that bit look a little thicker, but shouldn't really be
    Now go back to the beginning, clip off your waste knot, and weave this
end under the beginning stitches at
the back.....
    The big trick is to not have too many threads beginning/ending at the
same place, so that the ends vanish into the pattern, which takes a little
planning of
thread journeys.
    Good luck, and welcome to the wonderful obsession of


> Hello all - I am a newbie here, found out about you from H-Cost.
> My question is about blackwork embroidery - how do you start and end the
> threads? Nothing that I have read talks about this issue. If I were doing
> "regular" embroidery I would catch the tail of the thread under stitches
> the back, but since you're supposed to see both sides the same, I wasn't
> how to start and end the threads.
> Thanks for your help!
> **********************
> Rebecca Schmitt
> aka Mistress Agnes Cabot, wife of Master Peter Cabot, cod merchant of
> So many books, so little time
> schmitt100 at
> **********************
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