Blackwork Embroidery - lessons and designs

My love affair with blackwork embroidery began about 40 years ago, when I spotted a school friend creating a beautiful black and golden frog. I have loved it ever since and am so happy that I can now share this wonderful needlework technique with you.

Free blackwork lessons introduce you to this fascinating counted thread embroidery technique

Downloadable patterns 
...for every skill level, from beginners to advanced

Questions and answers 
...the interactive section will give you a chance to ask questions and communicate with other visitors. Join in and learn from others.

Ready to get started?

Learn how to do blackwork embroidery

Blackwork comprises outlines and "fill" or repeating diaper patterns. Traditionally you would work it in black silk on white linen to decorate clothing - in particular collars and cuffs. It earned the dubious title of "poor man's lace" as it cost less to embroider garments than to attach expensive handmade lace.

You no longer have to stick to black on white stitching. Modern designs incorporate colored threads or fabrics. You need contrast between the two, however, to give the best effect. Why not try reversing things, and work with white thread on black fabric for a dramatic look?

Gold or metallic threads add a special touch to a design, as do beads.

Free course to get you started

These free blackwork patterns will teach you the basics and then you can move on to slightly more advanced techniques, such as shading.

I have listed the lessons in the same order as I teach my live classes. I would suggest you start with lesson one, rather than jumping in at the deep end. Put aside around two hours for each lesson, but don't worry if you take longer to begin with.

Patterns for you to Download and Stitch

Clicking on the images below will take you to the relevant sections in my online store, where you can purchase and download patterns direct to your computer. Instantly! 

Ask a question about blackwork embroidery

If you are new to a type of needlework such as blackwork then you may have questions you want to ask. Take this opportunity to get the answers you need, or to help other visitors by answering their questions.

What Other Visitors Have Asked

Click below to see questions (and answers) from other visitors to this page...

blackwork cuff on an italian renaissance gown 
I'm about to start a copy of a renaissance gown of Eleonora of toledo. I Found this very small painting in Berlin and at once decided to make this costume. …

Click here to write your own.


You might like these


Keep in Touch with Stitchin'Times Newsletter

New! Comments

Have your say about what you just read! Leave me a comment in the box below.