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Counted Thread

The stitches below are of just a few of those which were used during the period covered by the SCA. The West Kingdom Needleworkers Guild is only suggesting these sites for your information. We do not endorse these sites, nor is the Guild in any way responsible for the content of these pages. It is better whenever possible to consult books on historic needlework and a Guild Mentor.

Counted Thread

We haven’t exhausted the search for web sites with useful information, this is just a start…



Counted Thread — cross stitch

How-To Stitch Sources

Cross Stitches and variations at
index of many stitches of cross stitch

long arm cross stitch

equal armed cross stitch (modern)
has a QuickTime movie of basic cross stitch on aida cloth

upright cross stitch
(looking for links)

double-cross stitch

Information on Historical Techniques

“Cross Stitch Embroidery in the Middle Ages and Renaissance” by Karen Larsdatter
a good overview of Cross Stitch, written in 1998 and housed at Stefan’s Florilegium.It was published in Tournaments Illuminated #127 (Summer 1998.)

Cross: Cultural
by Christian de Holacombe
Link Here

Actual Historical Textiles and Patterns

Medieval & Renaissance Embroidery
(broken link)
the page discusses cross stitch, blackwork & assisi work in general; look for five links to a 15th century German long-armed cross stitch piece, photo & charts

Historically Inspired Patterns and Pieces

WKNG Member’s Work
The patterns for the first 2 items were taken from a long arm cross stitched purse, from the Cathedral Treasury at Sens, near Paris. The third item was inspired by part of a long arm cross stitched stole found in The Royal School of Needlework’s Book of Needlework and Embroidery.


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Counted Thread — Assisi work

How-To Stitch Sources

Information on Historical Techniques

Actual Historical Textiles and Patterns

Looking for a good web page

Historically Inspired Patterns and Pieces

Clare’s Historical Embroidery Pages  (beware the pop up ads)
Examples worked by the author, also a handout & bibliography of sources

Assisi Embroidery
Patterns worked by the author.
Photos of work by the author

WCoB Competition Documentation – Voided Work
Jane Stockton from Lochac.  Page has links see the voided work under Documentation
Documentation to accompany her entry in a competition – includes photo of her piece

replica of Assisi sampler
#5000 – Assisi Work Sampler
sampler was stitched in 1807, but it is an exact reproduction of a sampler stitched in 1657. “Samplers” weren’t done in our time period, but the stitching is still useful to look at.


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Counted Thread — Blackwork

How-To Stitch Sources

Not all blackwork is black. Not all blackwork is reversible. Not all blackwork uses counted thread stitches.

Reversible counted thread blackwork utilizes double running stitch, also called called Holbein stitch.

Non-reversible non-counted thread blackwork utilizes basics stitches such as back stitch, stem stitch, split stitch, and other surface stiches.

Blackwork Embroidery Archives – Besides information on stitches, this site includes patterns created by the site owner, not necessarily period in style.

Blackwork Gallery – has links to art and objects

Medieval Egyptian “Blackwork” Embroidery
by Heather Rose Jones (Tangwystyl)
discussion, patterns, & step-by-step instructions for technique

Information on Historical Techniques

an overview

An article written by Michelle Palmer and published in “Fancywork” magazine in 1984, presents an overview of blackwork with line-art illustrations.

Medieval Egyptian “Blackwork” Embroidery
by Heather Rose Jones (Tangwystyl)
discussion, patterns, & step-by-step instructions for technique

Double-running Stitch — Spanish Stitch, Reversible Blackwork, And Islamic Embroidery
by Mathilde Eschenbach
a historical background of the 3 types, includes bibliography & some on-line sources (no photos)

Actual Historical Textiles and Patterns

Fill-In Patterns from 16th C. Blackwork Embroideries

Blackwork Designs from 16th Century Sources

Three charts by Kirrily Robert (SCA: Katherine Rowberd) are based on 16th c. paintings.

Elizabethan Practical Companion: Blackwork Gallery

Links to a wide range of garments on-line, on the website of Lady Roxanne Greenstreet.

Jane Seymour’s Blackworked Cuff

A chart for the design by Lorraine Behrens, based on a portrait painting.

16th Century Embroidery & Blackwork Resources

on the website of Costume Laurel Dréa Leed. A list of books and web page resources.

Medieval Egyptian “Blackwork” Embroidery
by Heather Rose Jones (Tangwystyl)
re-creation of patterns based on historical pieces

Historically Inspired Patterns and Pieces

The Blackwork Embroidery Archives
patterns for blackwork by Paula Katherine Marmor. She says, “These patterns are inspired by historical needlework of sixteenth and seventeenth century England, but they are all original designs.” They are not historical recreations.

Leon Conrad Designs
Blackwork pattern charts/kits from Leon Conrad Designs

Rainbow Gallery-Blackwork

Clare’s Historical Embroidery Pages

Photo of author’s first competition piece; general description of blackwork & a bibliography


Medieval Middle Eastern Counted-Thread Embroidery
Double-running stitch
charted patterns from various sources


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Counted Thread — Pattern darning

How-To Stitch Sources

Pattern Darning
by Sally Simon
Originally published in Needle Pointers, Volume X, Number 1, Spring 1982
a how-to for the technique & a few basic patterns, not medieval-focused

Information on Historical Techniques
Handout from class taught in Atlantia, June 2000 by Karen Larsdatter
Unfortunately no pictures in this online version, but does have bibliography & some links

Actual Historical Textiles and Patterns

Mathilde’s Medieval and Renaissance Embroidery
Mamluk-style pattern-darning sampler, charted the patterns from photographs of original pieces in Baker, Humphrey, and Rhodes

Icelandic Altar Hanging
Joyce Miller
charted a piece based on an altar hanging & created a cushion

Mamluk Embroidered Tunic Yoke and Detail
By Urtatim (Anahita)
photos of pattern darning on the collar of a tunic

Book review of Embroideries and samplers from Islamic Egypt

      published by Ashmolean Museum Oxford, 2001

     a few photos of textiles with pattern darning, mostly from the Ayyubid period (A.D. 1172-1249) and the Mamluk period (1250-1517)

Historically Inspired Patterns and Pieces

Pattern-darned Tablecloth
By Mathilde Eschenbach
Reprinted from the Fall, 2005, issue of Arts and Sciences, a special issue of the Pikestaff, the official newsletter of the Kingdom of the East
description of a tablecloth worked by the author.
Medieval Middle Eastern Counted-Thread Embroidery
charted patterns from various sources


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Other Counted Thread Sources

Dragon Bear Designs
A Book of Medieval, Renaissance, and Heraldic Patterns for Needlework,
with Many Charted from Original Embroidery Pieces of the Period.


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