HNW - Re: Blackwork - starting and ending

Carol Knight carol.knight at
Wed Aug 16 13:04:25 PDT 2000

You must be talking of Holbein Stitch or the doublerunning stitch. To start
those, I would start my thread in the seam line of the garment, first off.
And then, as the thread ran out and you had to bring in new, I would just do
a small knot, sew one run with the new thread, and then clip the tale as
close as you can.
BTW-no, you don't have be able to see the same on both sides of your
Blackwork. Blackwork is the name given to monochromatic embroidery. What you
see in some portraits of the Early Tudors is Blackwork done in The
double-running stitch. But, when you get to such things as Elizabeth's
partlet in the Phoenix Portrait and the Cornwallis portrait, The Blackwork
that you see is a larger variety of stitches, including in infamous cross
stitch, that everyone was loudly proclaiming did not exist at that time. 
I would look a little farther-all of the books that I have found, has dated
Monochromatic Embroidery back as far as the 1300's, maybe even further.
There is a wonderful book on the topic, "BLACKWORK" by Mary Gostelow. I
would highly recommend this book to anyone getting started on Blackwork. It
is a real must for the library-right along with the Janet Arnold books. With
these books, you have a very good beginning to a Costumer's Heaven, I mean,
Hope this helps!
BTW-to those who know more and better-tell me. I'm in this for the learning
and doing.
Roslyn H.

-----Original Message-----
From: Schmitt100 at [mailto:Schmitt100 at]
Sent: Wednesday, August 16, 2000 1:39 PM
To: H-Needlework at
Subject: HNW - Re: blackwork - starting and ending

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 in 
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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