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Introduction to Blackwork
Mar 17

Introduction to Blackwork

by Embroiderers Guild of Western Australia
Registrations Closed
Date & Time
17 March 2024 9:30 AM - 3:30 PM
(UTC+08:00) Australia/Perth

Registrations Are Closed

Blackwork Embroidery 

In this workshop you will learn four different patterns, all using straight stitches.  The completed piece can be stitched onto a calico shoe bag, put on a box top or framed into a small decorative piece.

Tutor Jill Merker


Jill has been a part of the Guild for 19 years. She said, "There was a course advertised for beginners at the Embroiderer's Guild and my sister-in-law and I headed off into the unknown. What a wonderful experience that has been. I had no idea about the number of different embroidery techniques that exist, and I still want to learn more of them.

I love all types of surface embroidery – silk shading, crewel work and counted work are my favourites. 

19 years later, and I still love the Guild and am inspired by the many great local teachers, and others from interstate and overseas. I have encountered so many expert embroiderers along my journey.

I have completed a Teacher Accreditation Certificate through the Guild – doing that was a wonderful learning experience – encouraging one to look at many different techniques and to look at actual design.

My inspiration – the people and teachers around me, historical pieces I have seen, and colour".

Jill will teach this workshop on Sunday 17th March 2024

History of Blackwork:

It is most likely that Blackwork took root in Spain in the 15thcentury and is thought to have become popular in England when Katherine of Aragon married Henry the 8th in 1509. The famous court painter Hans Holbein painted many of the courtiers with collars and cuffs stitched with blackwork. These were borders using repeated patterns worked with straight stitches, becoming known as Holbein stitch.

From this, patterns developed using trailing vines, flowers, and birds and from this developed small, repeated diaper patterns often with gold highlights. These were used on bodices and sleeves and eventually household linens and cushions.

At the end of the 16th century, a 3rd style appeared where shading appeared with the use of different weight threads and density of stitches.

During the 1950s and 1960s blackwork became creative and freer in style.

Today there are hundreds of variations of blackwork though they are all worked on an even-weave fabric but not necessarily in black thread.

Come and join us for a fun time of stitching and go home with a useful item that can be stitched on to a bag for protecting your shoes, or used as a decoration for a book cover or box top.

Skill Level: All

Registrations open November 1st 2023

Workshop Dates: 

Sunday 17th March 2024

Time: 9.30am - 3.30pm

Class fee: $60.00

Kit cost:  $18.00

Includes Lugana fabric with printed pattern, needles, Perle 8 and 12 thread, calico for the bag and comprehensive notes.

There will be a choice of fabric available on the day, with two colour options.

Thumbnail  Main Image

(Please place payment for the kit in an envelope with your name and give it to the tutor directly on the first day of the workshop)

Please bring:

6" embroidery hoop

Embroidery scissors

Extra lighting and magnification if needed.


Class/Workshops Agreement

Enrolment & Cancellation Policy

If you wish to use a Guild voucher, pay by direct deposit, or a combination of the two, please click on this link - * Alternate Payment Methods - Workshops

Event Type
Beginners workshops
Event Location
Guild House
565 Canning Highway
Alfred Cove WA
Contact Details
WorkshopCo-ordinator Liz Robson

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