Thursday, March 24, 2016

Embroidery March: Whitework


This is all of the whitework I have ever done in the world, so this is going to be a short post.

Using the very most basic definition, whitework is any embroidery where only white thread is used and usually on a white ground fabric. Generally, though not always, it's a surface embroidery rather than a counted thread technique. As it turns out, whitework could mean any number of techniques, many of which involve cutwork, which is just fancy-pants holes you put there on purpose. I'm not quite ready for cutwork, so I'm working this next hanky in what might be called Mountmellick embroidery, which generally doesn't have holes, but might have a knit edging. That I can do.

Since it's white-on-white, the key thing that I'm going to have to remember is texture. As a fine artist, I'm a painter and not a sculptor, so it's easier for me to think in terms of the relationships between colors than in the ways three dimensional shapes  or textures come together. I can do it, but it's not my strength. One of the reasons I've likely waited until now to try whitework is because it's monochromatic. My favorite color is all of them, so working with subtlety will be a little bit of a challenge.

But I have life goals and those life goals include a whitework tablecloth.
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