Roman work

Drawing of Roman work. Drawing of Roman work. From Caulfeild and Saward 1882, Fig. 707.

Roman work is a late nineteenth century form of cutwork, worked on an ecru linen or a batiste. It was considered suitable for cushions and banner screens.

The outline of the design is highlighted using a running stitch (described by Caulfeild and Saward as: “RUN [sic] the outlines over with thread”) worked in an ecru thread. The outline (plus running stitch) is then covered with buttonhole stitch worked closely together, making sure that the outer edges of the stitches are always on the outside of the pattern. The design elements are connected using bars (worked in either a cord or with buttonhole stitches). Wheels are sometimes added in the larger spaces to connect and embellish them.

The ground material between the pattern areas is cut away leaving the pattern and bars in place. The ground material is then lined with a coloured lining of silk or velvet. According to Caulfeild and Saward, this type of work is also sometimes known as guipure, ragusa Strasbourg embroidery or Venetian embroidery.

Source: CAULFEILD, Sophia Frances Anne and Blanche C. SAWARD (1882), The Dictionary of Needlework: An Encyclopaedia of Artistic, Plain and Fancy Needlework, London: L. Upcott Gill, pp. 426-427.


Last modified on Sunday, 07 May 2017 19:25