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Blackwork (Dover Embroidery, Needlepoint) Paperback – August 22, 2012

4.5 out of 5 stars 19 customer reviews

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Product Details

  • Series: Dover Embroidery, Needlepoint
  • Paperback: 160 pages
  • Publisher: Dover Publications (September 19, 2012)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0486401782
  • ISBN-13: 978-0486401782
  • Product Dimensions: 8.3 x 0.4 x 10.8 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 12.6 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (19 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,618,801 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Paperback
I admit it. I'm scared of blackwork. But this book makes it seem not quite so intimidating. Lots of examples of it are included, in numerous b/w illustrations and photos of extant Tudor/Elizabethan work (there's modern stuff, too, but I'm not as interested in that). There are also instructions for doing blackwork, though the explanations are a bit hard to follow in places. Overall, this is the best treatment of the subject I've seen yet. As an acquaintance of mine has said, while it's still in print, get it! Or you may find yourself hunting for it when it's gone.
I seriously don't know /any/ blackworkers who don't have this book.
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Whenever an embroiderer asks "What book should I get to learn about historical blackwork", the answer is always "Blackwork by Mary Gostelow".
This book is very well written, and whilst I do not agree with all her conclusions about what blackwork is - her reasoning is logical and she includes lovely pictures - both of historical and modern blackwork.
I would have liked to see some more pictures of historical works (especially colour photos) - and would have liked her to address some popular misconceptions about blackwork.
All in all - I really do love this book and it is one that I always recommend.
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By A Customer on June 12, 2000
Format: Paperback
This book provides a great basic overview of blackwork. The author covers the history of the art from the Tudor years to the present. I would have prefered a few more detailed pictures, but have otherwise am happy to have this as a reference in my library.
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Format: Paperback
Mary Gostelow is the expert's expert on many fields of needlework inquiry. She has spanned the globe collecting, admiring, studying, photographing and writing about needlework. See also her books:

The Complete International Book of Embroidery
Embroidery: Traditional Designs, Techniques, and Patterns from All over the World
A World of Embroidery

In this modest Dover paperback of 1998 which republishes Ms. Gostelow's 1976 English edition, the world of blackwork is opened to us from medieval times to today. I have included in Images above several photos from the book. The front cover is a detail of the pattern for a coif. The book gives props to Catharine of Aragon, King Henry VIII's first wife, and her supposedly bringing "Spanish work" to the isles. (It cracks me up that she was the daughter of Ferdinand and Isabella, of Columbus and Spanish Inquisition fame.) As the author explains, there was good cause to associate Catharine with blackwork because she was an avid embroiderer and the detailed running backstitch began to dot every rich and royal costume in Tudor England. However, as we see in a modern reading of Chaucer's Canterbury Tales, in "The Mylleres Tale" (Miller's), his young wife's "smock was white and embroidered in front and behind with coal-black silk and embroidered also on the inside and outside of the collar." There are other references to blackwork in Italy which predate Catharine who was born in 1485.
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Format: Paperback
If you belong to the SCA or another historic reenactment group, THIS is the book you want to buy. It has many fotos and references for historic garments (coifs, partlets, etc.), as well as discussions of the stitches used on each piece. I WISH I had known about it before I started my own coif!!!!
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This book has a lot more information on blackwork than I was expecting, so as a researcher, I find it very useful. On the other hand the patterns contained therein, are not as many as I wanted, most of them I had seen comparable ones before.
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Many dim and fuzzy pictures, but a lovely historical needleworkers reference. Worth having in your library, and a good inspirational boost. I wouldn't consider it a pleasure read, or a quality how-to, but something in between, and wothwhile nonetheless.
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Many dim and fuzzy pictures, but a lovely historical needleworkers reference. Worth having in your library, and a good inspirational boost. I wouldn't consider it a pleasure read, or a quality how-to, but something in between, and wothwhile nonetheless.
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