Skip to content

Document Header


Annotated Booklist

Welcome to the annotated Booklist for the West Kingdom Needleworkers Guild. Books are listed here because they have been found to be useful by some of our members in the limited context of historical embroidery. This list is provided as a service to our members and is not to be seen as an endorsement of any book, writer, editor, publisher, or opinion presented by such.



While the Booklist is provided by the Guild, the comments expressed are solely the opinions of the commentator. We are indebted to these individuals who have given of their time to provide guidance in our learning endeavors.

AG = Anahita bint ‘abd al-Karim al-hakim al-Fassi
AJ = Aja du Jardin
CL = Catherine Lorraine of Stonegate Manor
IB = Isela di Bari
SB = Sabrina de la Bere
JR = Jocelyn of Rowenwood

Below is a bit about how the list was organized. If you have a book you would like to share, please let us know.                                                                                                                                                                                                   – Sabrina de la Bere

Division by Subject Matter Category

The list is divided by Subject Matter Category, some of which parallel the categories of the Sojourner Program. No category should be seen as exclusive. Many books focus on one area and touch on other areas.

Embroidery General

If the book is a survey of embroidery types, a historical overview, how-to for different types of embroidery, or in other ways covers multiple types of embroidery even if done in some depth, you will the find the book in this section.

Surface Embroidery

Same as for the Apprenticeship Program. If the stitch is primarily done in thread on top of the fabric, find information on it here. Section contains books discussing surface embroidery types such as Bayeux and Elizabethan embroidery.

Counted Thread

Same as for the Sojourner Program. If the stitching is primarily counted, such as Blackwork, Voided Work/Assisi, the cross stitch family, or pattern darning, it will be in this section. Also included are some pattern books which are exclusively for counted work.


Same as for the Sojourner Program. Includes books on drawn and pulled thread techniques, Hardanger, cutwork, Reticella and other needle lace methods and patterns.

Metal Thread

Same as for the Sojourner Program. If the technique is worked primarily using metal thread or reflects how metal thread embroidery was done, it will be in this section. See also Ecclesiastical Embroidery.

Canvas Work

Same as for the Sojourner Program. If the technique is worked primarily on “canvas”, it will be in this section. Also included are some patterns which are exclusively for canvaswork.

Stitched Fabric

Same as for the Sojourner Program. If the process is decoration of fabric while distorting its appearance, it will be in this section. Also contains works on Beadwork.

Modelbuchen/Pattern Books

This section contains reprints of historical pattern books (Modelbuchen) and modern pattern books of historical embroideries or in a historic style.

Ecclesiastical Embroidery

While some books in this section will also have relevance to Metal Thread embroidery, the books here focus on Ecclesiastical Embroidery. This was done on the principle that this area is not a subset of Metal Thread, but is its own genre.

Textiles & Design

Since textiles and some design books contain information which is helpful to the historical stitcher, we have tried to include them in this section.

Division by  


This categorization is provided to assist with understanding whether the book will be useful and understandable to the reader…


for this level, the reader has little or no knowledge of stitch methods, what stitch is period, or generally where to start. Books with how-to will have very clearly presented diagrams. Books for reading, will walk the reader through the concepts.


for this level, the reader has begun to do some stitching on linen and begun to ask questions on the how and why of historical stitching. Books with how-to will require some understanding of the basic techniques, be able to read a needlework chart, and understand thread differences. Books for reading will assume that the reader has some understanding of historical context.


for this level, the reader as done a fair amount of historical stitching and is beginning to need detailed information for research. Books on how-to will have few instructions and while drawings may be present, true patterns are lacking. Books for reading will assume that the reader has developed an understanding of what they are seeing – specific stitches, styles, etc. While most of these are wonderful books, they tend to be expensive and difficult to purchase and thus are good candidates for Interlibrary Loan (ILL).

Primary Sidebar

Social Share Buttons and Icons powered by Ultimatelysocial