Project page

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 design
horizontal frame with work on the go

The key element, which 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 natural shades, textures, luminance and tactile effects. They tried to imitate it, using different materials and tools: cotton, linen, wool, silk, needles and hooks and bobbin lace.

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, they had a tradition of nacre, wood and ivory carving, which is represented by some outstandingly beautiful creations saved for today. The white 'filigree" is beautiful, made of fabric and threads which serve perfectly for structuring the surface. Petals, buds, seeds, sprouts, satin or padded constructed of fibres and strands reveal the grace of flora "painted" in white, looking like a carved pice of marble.

embroidered napkin
festive served table with whitework tablecloth

Going through the development 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 long story in the background. Keeping them, I just keep my own history to reveal it to the children.

close up of whitework tablecloth

The observation of works made decades ago was very inspiring for processing the design and embroidery pattern, 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. All in all, the result came as I expected. I got a chance to practice, learn some historical facts, and apply the techniques I wanted to master for a long time. Also, by my work, I pay a tribute to the works of my grandmothers, imagining that the piece made by my hand will possibly become an heirloom for someone, to be treasured and cherished.

festive served table with whitework tablecloth