Blackwork sampler. Blackwork sampler.

Blackwork is a form of counted thread embroidery that uses a black thread (usually silk or cotton) on a white cloth background. Blackwork is usually carried out in a double running stitch (Holbein stitch). The patterns produced tend to be geometric or stylised figurative and plant forms. Blackwork was very popular in Europe during the sixteenth century and has been revived at regular intervals since then.

Blackwork is also known as Spanish work, and is associated with Catherine of Aragon, the first wife of Henry VIII, who was a keen needlewoman.

See also: bluework; Hans Holbein the Younger and blackwork; the Lacemaker; portrait of an unknown womanredwork; whitework.


Digital source of illustration (retrieved 6 July 2016).


Last modified on Friday, 20 January 2017 19:39
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