Blackwork Forehead Cloth – WIP2

I have made a little progress on the blackwork embroidered forehead cloth.  I am working it almost entirely in stem stitch (outlines) and running stitch (fill patterns and veins on the leaves).

Blackwork Forehead Cloth - WIP3 - Flat silk embroidery on linen fabric, 16.5"x8.25" - by Sidney Eileen

Flat silk on linen, 16.5″x8.25″. The forehead cloth is outlined with a running stitch in all-purpose black thread, is stretched onto an embroidery frame, the pattern has been drawn in pencil, and I am stitching it with flat silk embroidery floss. The design is created mostly using stem stitch and running stitch.

Blackwork Forehead Cloth - WIP3 - detail1 - Flat silk embroidery on linen fabric - by Sidney Eileen

Flat silk embroidery on linen fabric, detail area is 2.5″x1.75″. The forehead cloth is outlined with a running stitch in all-purpose black thread, and I am stitching it with flat silk embroidery floss. The design is created mostly using stem stitch and unning stitch. This detail shot shows the area I have worked so far. I am completely undecided on what filling pattern to use on the flowers, and I’m not entirely sure I like the way the fill pattern on the strawberry looks, so I may change that.

Blackwork Forehead Cloth - WIP3 - detail2 - Close up to show the detail of how flat silk twists more or less with different stitches as I work - by Sidney Eileen

Flat silk embroidery on linen fabric, detail area is about 1″x.5″. This photo show very close-up detail of the stitching. Before starting this project I was having trouble finding information about whether 16th C English blackwork embroidery was done in flat silk or twisted silk. The short answer was flat silk, but it sparked an interesting discussion on apparent slight twist that could be seen on a lot of period blackwork. I have been aware for some time that I have a tendency to unintentionally twist my floss as I work, whether I am using flat or twisted floss. As I worked I found that it was fairly easy to keep the threads untwisted while doing running stitch, but that the stem stitch is consistently ending up with a slightly twisted appearance. This detail shot is intended to help anyone interested in the minutia see what has been happening as I create blackwork with flat silk in a period stitching style.

 

Project: Blackwork Forehead Cloth

 

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