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  • Writer's pictureChiara

White work embroidery--cultural references and stitch tests

Updated: Apr 12, 2022

Embroidery is a vast field and there's no way I can properly research and summarise it as part of this project. I am however curious enough about whitework in particular to do a bit of digging. This encyclopaedia article points me to religious origins as well as to a variety of different styles and ethnic groups. I'm going to have to park this idea for now, but I'm curious to know more about the origins of the textiles I have acquired and appropriated.

Meanwhile, it's time to make some decisions about the stitches I will use for this project.

I tried out a variety of filling stitches in white on white on a small handkerchief I found.

  • satin stitch

  • herringbone stitch

  • long and short stitch

  • woven stitch

  • couched satin stitch

None of them really satisfied me.

Outlining the areas helped a bit using

  • back stitch or

  • stem stitch

The most effective approach seems to be a simple stem stitch outline.

  • Backing the embroidered outline with attached fabric makes for a more distinct letter shape.

  • The cloth I'm using for the banner is more transparent than the handkerchief fabric, so depending how the work is presented there could be an element of shadow which would enhance the impact further.

  • The stitching samples also gave me an idea of how long the project will take to execute. I'm going to be spending many hours stitching, so it's time to start.

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