The Gleaming Blossom of Whitework

embroidered napkins lying on the table

Every craft has its origin, tradition and some features that make it different from others. Richelieu, Reticella, Hedebo embroidery, Mountmellick Embroidery, Pulled thread embroidery, and many other types of whitework represent the tradition of needlework kept through the generations.

materials and embroidery designhorizontal frame with work on the go

The key-element that inspired women for making beautiful blankets, towels, tablecloths, ceremonial gowns has always been flora. For many generations of lacemakers and embroiderers the theme of flower beauty has been fascinating, people adored the shades, textures, luminance and tactile effects, trying to imitate they used different materials and tools: cotton, linen, wool, silk, needles and hooks and lace bobbins.

pulled-thread embroidery element

Someone can find a certain reference to the ancient tradition of design and marble sculpture, the decorative elements of which were found in ancient Rome and Greece, as well as in the Orient, in India and China where the tradition of nacre, wood and ivory carving have been represented by some outstandingly beautiful creations. "White filigree" made on fabric with threads that work perfectly for making the structure of the surface: petals, buds, seeds, sprouts - satin or stumped reveal the grace of flora "painted" in white.

embroidered napkinfestive served table with whitework tablecloth

Going through the developing and the design, I used to look through lots of pictures that reveal outstanding skill and handwork. Many of them are kept in museums though some of the works are my own treasures - done by my grandmothers. Napkins, towels, blouses, collars decorated with needlework and crocheting have a lot in the background. Keeping them, you just keep your own history, for sure these works can tell a lot about us to our children.

close up of whitework tablecloth

The observation of works made the decades ago was very inspiring for making up a design and embroidery pattern, the preparatory process and the choice of the techniques and stitches. To give the surface some volume, making the effect of a marble satin bass-relief. I applied padding to make some elements higher. All in all the result came as I expected. I got a chance to practice a lot, learning some historical facts, and applying the techniques I wanted to practice for a long time, also by my own work I paid a tribute to the works of my grandmothers, imagining that the piece made by my hand will possibly become an heirloom for someone, treasured and kept passionately, I really wish it to be so.

festive served table with whitework tablecloth