Welcome to the Royal School of Needlework The International Centre
of Excellence for the
Art of Hand Embroidery
Steeped in history, this technique involves using intricate patterns which have an almost graphic quality to create an embroidered picture. Blackwork was traditionally used as decoration on caps, collars and cuffs and usually depicted small floral motifs in the repeat design. Both sides of the embroidery were to be seen so it was worked in a double running stitch (also known as Holbein stitch), making the front and back identical.
Blackwork developed in the 20th century and is now used to portray realism and form through differing densities of thread and pattern to create tonal shading.
Using a counted thread technique with a variety of geometric stitches in one colour, dramatic effects are created which are particularly effective with portraits and architectural themes. Blackwork is a very diverse technique and although traditionally worked in black any single colour can be used.
Keep in touch
- It's #wipwednesday, what hand embroidery projects have you been working on? Silk Shading by RSN Diploma Student Jes… https://t.co/o4ZeI3hj8F22/03/2017
- The Scottish Diaspora Tapestry is now on display at Westminster Hall until 29 April! https://t.co/lsT6pPN5Wm #diaspora #tapestry #embroidery22/03/2017