Blackwork is over four hundred years old and is thought to have originated in Spain.
It's possible that it had been imported into Spain by the Moors from north Africa even earlier. Blackwork became very popular in Tudor England where it was used widely on their elaborate dresses, ruffs, cuffs, sleeves etc. The Elizabethans also used embroidery and blackwork in their lavish furnishings, in bed hangings and curtains.
The earliest blackwork was made by working black silk on very fine fabric. The fabric must have an evenweave to suit the geometric stitches. Even in Elizabethan times blackwork was not just black - gold threads, beads and sequins often added a little sparkle to the stitching.
Blackwork is necessarily stylised and strong shapes are filled with different patterns, many based on backstitch. Cross stitch, satin stitch, beading and french knots can also be used. When creating a design you should plan to use three densities of stitching: light, medium and dark. There will also be areas of unstitched fabric. This doesn't mean that you are restricted to three stitch patterns - some designs have many more - but equally you don't have to have as many as three stitch patterns. At a recent exhibition of needlework I saw some very fine work using the same pattern but varying the density by varying the number of strands of cotton used.
So what colour is blackwork? The answer is that it can be any colour you want. Henry Ford would not have approved. For example, I have worked snowflakes with white on dark blue using blending filament and beads. I have also used red, blue, purple, brown and turquoise in my series of national costume blackwork designs. The main principle is to use predominantly one colour of thread which contrasts with the colour of the fabric. I have never seen subtle shading, but why not? It would be an interesting effect.
Click OK to remove this item or Cancel to keep it in the list
Click OK to empty your shopping cart or Cancel to keep it as it is
Sorry - your shopping cart is full so you can't add any more items.
We have only XITEMSINSTOCK in stock so some of your order may be despatched later. Please contact us if you need more information.
We have only XABSITEMSINSTOCK available. Please contact us if you need more information.
(incl. discount of XLINEDISCOUNT)
(You have just saved XTOTALDISCOUNT!)
You will now be redirected to PayPal's secure checkout page. This may take a few seconds to display. You do not need to create a PayPal account to pay this way.
Please use your browser's bookmark button to add this page to your favourites.
You have selected one or more patterns that you must download yourself to your own computer. IMPORTANT! Please read carefully the page that follows payment for the instructions on downloading (we will also send you an email). Please click OK to confirm that you wish to proceed, or Cancel to return to the cart.
We regret this item is currently unavailable. It is possible that someone else has recently purchased the last one.
Please select a delivery country before proceeding to checkout.
The shopping cart cannot be displayed - you may have an old version of cart software. Please refresh this page or shut down and restart your browser.
We offer a variety of secure payment methods for your safety and convenience:
Mastercard or Visa credit and debit cards
PayPal®, the world's leading on-line payment processor
Cheque Payment (£GBP only)
No-quibble money back guarantee
Telephone supportin UK: 0207-100-3509 in US/Canada: 206-886-0514 International: (+)44-207-100-3509
"I have already received a message that my package has been dispatched and also already received adjustment on shipping cost through Paypal ... You offer incredible service and it is a real pleasure to use your website and to do business with you! Thanks a lot!" - AML, Quebec, Canada
"Thank you so much for all your help. You have been especially prompt in answering my questions and helping me with this purchase - I am very happy with the service you have provided thus far. I have ordered the kit via the link you've provided. Thanks again." - MF, Nevada, United States
"Thank you very much for my three sewing kits that arrived yesterday. I am very impressed with your good service and the trouble you went to with the Lanarte one. I look forward to using you again and recommending you to my stitching friends and family." - CB, United Kingdom
Please Read This! (Latest update 6th April 2020)
We know how much your crafts matter to you and so while the virus outbreak lasts, we will continue to work as normal for as long as we can.
We are of course wholly dependent on the delivery services and it's likely that there will be delays due to staff shortages and restrictions.
So we ask for your continuing patience in waiting for your package to arrive.
We hope you are safe and comfortable and able to enjoy your stitching in these difficult times.
Deliveries to some countries have now been suspended as cargo flights have been stopped. For a current list of suspended countries please visit this page
Please do not purchase anything from us if you live in one of these countries as it can't be delivered.