The West Kingdom Needleworkers Guild

Booklist Index
Embroidery General <-- YOU ARE HERE
Surface Embroidery
Counted Thread
Whitework
Metal Thread
Canvas Work
Stitched Fabric
Modelbuchen/Pattern Books
Ecclesiastical Embroidery
Textiles & Design

Annotated Booklist:
General Embroidery


A Book of Old Embroidery with Articles by A. F. Kendrick, Louisa F. Pesel, & E. W. Newberry
Holme, Geoffrey, Ed.
The Studio, Ltd., London, 1921
The book is a survey of world embroidery with comments by the main experts of the time. The pictures include a number of textiles from the 14th-16th C with commentary on stitches, threads, and ground fabrics. Many items are from private collections. Good research material. SB
Advanced


A Notebook of Sampler Stitches
Bennett, Eileen
self-published, Grandville MI, 1990
50 of the most common stitches as seen in early 17th C. samplers. Quite useful to a solid understanding of the stitches and how they were used. SB
Intermediate


A Notebook of Sampler Stitches Book Two
Bennett, Eileen
self-published, Jenison MI, 1993
27 additional of the most common stitches as seen in early 17th C. samplers, including some reticella and lacis. Quite useful to a solid understanding of the stitches and how they were used. SB
Intermediate


A Pictorial History of Embroidery
Schuette, Marie and Müller-Christensen, Sigrid
Frederick A. Praeger, New York, 1964
Out of print & between $250-$500 but worth every penney. Good close-ups of the stitches. Not too many color photos but excellent B&W ones. Good descriptions and stitch diagrams. Good documentation & research of historical pieces. IB
Note that this book was printed several times in different countries with slightly different titles. SB
Advanced


A Picture Book of English Embroideries; Part 1 Elizabethan
Victoria and Albert Museum
HMSO, London, 1933
A small pamphlet with an overview and black and white pictures of Elizabethan Embroidery. While interesting, most of the items displayed are shown in color in other books. This pamphlet was reprinted with minor changes in 1961 as Elizabethan Embroidery. SB
Intermediate


A Visual History of Costume: The Sixteenth Century
Ashelford, Jane
Batsford, London, 1983
ISBN# 0 7134 6828 9
Wonderful survey of costume, with plates showing portraits clear enough to copy the embroidery. SB
Advanced


Alte Textilien: Eine Auswahl Aus Den Bestanden Des Basdischen Landesmuseums
Schnellbach, Rudolf, director
Badisches Landesmuseum, Karlsruhe, Germany, 1957
Survey of 20 textiles, primarily woven, with some embroidery and lace. Text in German by Eva Zimmerman. SB
Advanced


Antique Needlework
Synge, Lanto
Blandford Books Ltd., Dorset, UK, 1982
ISBN# 0-7137-1007-1
Wonderful overview of needlework through the centuries. Clearly identifies the role of needlework and needleworkers in the social structure. Good pictures of typical examples in each major category. Out of print but worth acquiring through interlibrary loan to gain a working knowledge. SB
Intermediate


Apropos Patterns for Embroidery, Lace and Woven Textiles
Abegg, Margeret
Shriften der Abegg-Steftung, Bern, Switzerland, 1978
ISBN# 3-905014-13-0 or 3-7272-9005-6
Yes, it's been reprinted and you too can own your very own copy. Hands down, this has to be the best book on comparing actual embroideries/lacework or that taken from period paintings with the patterns taken from period printed pattern books. From drawn work to lacework, the examples are astounding and mostly of 14th-17th century needlework. AG
Intermediate


Art of Embroidery: Great Needlework Collections of Britain and the United States
Gostelow, Mary
EP Dutton, New York, 1979
ISBN# 0-525-93064-7
A survey of collections in Manor Houses, Cathedrals and Living History Centers, most of which is post 1600. Some of the early 17th C pieces are fun to see including a lot of canvaswork. SB
Intermediate


Art of Embroidery: History of Style and Technique
Synge, Lanto
The Royal School of Needlework-Antique Collectors' Club, Woodbridge, UK, 2001
ISBN# 1-85149-359-X
The book sets out the political and social context in which the textiles were created. Synge also carefully identifies the works of the professional workshops versus individuals. Wonderful pictures illustrate the informative text and there are 2 nice long chapters on medieval and renaissance embroidery. SB
Intermediate


Art of the Embroiderer
Germain de Saint-Aubin, Charles
Los Angeles County Museum of Art, Los Angeles, 1983
ISBN# 0-87587-110-0
Germain wrote this treatise in 1770 France where he was the royal needlework designer. While not directly relevant to our time frame, the techniques, materials, and dictionary of terms is not much changed from the 16th Century. SB
Intermediate


Broderies: Historiées Du Moyen Age et de la Renaissance: Musees Royaux d'Art et d'Histoire Bruxelles
Throne, Georges ed.
Brussles, Belgium, 1959
From an exhibit of 13th-16th C. items. All are heavily embroidered items for church use. B&W pictures with very clear detail. In French. SB
Advanced


British Embroidery: Curious Works from the Seventeenth Century
Epstein, Kathleen
Colonial Williamsburg Foundation/Curious Works Press, Williamsburg, VA/Austin, Texas, 1998
ISBN# 0-87935-186-1/ 0-9633331-94
More than a catalogue from the exhibit, this book explores the whys and development of needlework from the late 1500s through its development in the 1600s. Facinating to read as well as excellent pictures. SB
Intermediate


British Samplers
Jones, Mary Eirwen
BT Batsford Ltd., London, 1948, 1988
ISBN# 0 7134 5634 5
Overview of the history and development of samplers. There is a brief section on early samplers and references to Tudor literature. Pictures of a possible pre-1600 whitework sampler is shown. SB
Intermediate


Broderia Medievala Romaneasca
Musicescu, Maria Ana
Bucharest, Romania, 1969
This book is primarily of Romanian medieval embroidery. There is a paragraph about each in Romanian and clear plates, most in B&W and a few in color with wonderful detail pictures. SB
Advanced


Catalogo de la Seccion de Tejidos, Bordados y Encajes del Museo de Arte Decorativo y Arqueológico
Sanchez, F. , Director
Barcelona, Spain, 1906
Wonderful catalogue with descriptions, one third of which are pre-17th C. embroideries. In Spanish. SB
Advanced


Catalogue of English Domestic Embroidery of the Sixteenth and Seventheenth Centuries
Nevinson, John L.
Victoria and Albert Museum, London, 1938
Nevinson was the Asst. Keeper in the Department of Textiles and a peer of Digby's. Plates are in black and white. Wonderfully detailed descriptions including color, thread type, fabric type, stitches used and size of object. Also includes V&A reference numbers which would enable the resourceful person to arrange to see the object should they be fortunate enough to visit the museum. Essential book for the library of the 16th and 17th C. style researcher on embroidery. SB
Advanced


Celtic Embroidery
Hubbell, Gerald & Robert Kalthoff (SCA: Gerald of Ipsley & Robert of Coldcastle)
self-published, May 2001
With an eye toward determining what would have been done, they review all the extent items, designs and drawings. From that they suggest methods used and colors. Many drawings are provided for your use as well as the underlying theories behind the drawings. SB
Intermediate


Cento Punti Ricamo
Mani Di Fata, ed
I Lavori Femmininili Di Mani di Fata, Milan,
An Italian pamphlet with how-to and simple designs of assisi, smocking, trapunto, florentine stitch, surface embroidery, pulled work, etc. SB
Beginner


Common Thread/Common Ground: A Collection of Essays on Early Samplers and Historic Needlework
Van Valin, Marsha, Ed.
The Scarlet Letter, Sullivan WI, 2001
ISBN# 0-9644764-5-2
A wonderfully insightful look into the history and evolution of samplers. While most of the book explores times later than is applicable to the SCA, the roots of samplers date to the 16th C. SB
Advanced


Complete Guide to Needlework: Techniques and Materials
Gostelow, Mary
Chartwell Books, Inc., Secaucus NJ, 1982
ISBN# 089009 -597-3
Fantastic overview of most of the techniques listed in our Guild's apprenticeship program including each technique's historical background, stitches, threads, and fabrics to use. Nice color and B&W photos and instructional diagrams. IB
Beginner


Design for Embroidery from Traditional English Sources
Howard, Constance
B.T. Batsford Ltd., London, 1956
ISBN# 0 7134 6299 X
Excellent book for introducing the beginning stitcher to placing stitches in context. Significant sections of the book detail early English and 16th C. embroidery. Well worth the money. SB
Beginner


Die Textilen Kunste: Von der Spätantike bis un 1500
Von Wilckens, Leonie
Verlag C.H. Beck, Munich, 1991
ISBN# 3-406-35363-0
This book of textiles, embroideries, and tapestries pre-1500 is entirely in German. The pictures are wonderful and Ms Von Wilkens picks up the Müller-Christensen mantle for detailed descriptions and analysis. SB
Advanced


Dress in the Age of Elizabeth I
Ashelford, Jane
Batsford, London, 1988
ISBN# 0 7134 5622 1
Fabulous plates of portraits and extant clothing pieces clear enough to see details of the embroidery. Includes a information on embroidery and how it was used. Excellent secondary source material. RB
Advanced


Elizabethan Embroidery
Digby, George Wingfield
Thomas Yoseloff or Faber and Faber (London), New York, 1963
Out of print but worth the search. Digby was a Keeper of Textiles at the V&A and an authority on Elizabethan embroidery. No stitch diagrams nor charts, and only a handful of colored photos. Large number of B&W photos. Good commentaries on embroidery & Eliz. Costuming, accessories, & furnishings. He uses inventories for his documentation. IB
Intermediate


Elizabethan Treasures: The Hardwick Hall Textiles
Levey, Santina M.
The National Trust, London, 1998
ISBN# 0-8109-6353-1
The original research was done by John Nevinson and completed by S. Levey who worked at the V&A Dept of Textiles. The records indicate much about when the work was done, by whom and for what. Ms. Levey also goes into detail about the manner and materials used. The pictures are detailed and clear enough for a skilled needleworker to copy. If this is your time period, you want this book. SB
Intermediate


Embroidered Textiles: Traditional Patterns from Five Continents with a Worldwide Guide to Identification
Paine, Sheila
Thames and Hudson, London, 1990
ISBN# 0-500-27823-7
Good overview to see what motifs were used where and when. Little of the book covers pre-1600 items. SB
Beginner


Embroidery 1600-1700 at the Burrell Collection
Arthur, Liz
John Murray, London, 1995
ISBN# 0-7195-5413-6
Excellent pictures showing various styles of needlework. The text covers design sources, the role of the needleworker in society, as well as details of fabric, thread, color, etc. While items shown are 1600 or later, post SCA, many of the techniques, styles and textiles used were common place in the late 1500s. SB
Intermediate


Embroidery: A Collection of Articles on Subjects Connected with the Study of Fine Needlework, Including Stitches, Materials, Methods of Work, and Designing, and History, with Numerous Illustrations and Coloured Plates of Modern Work
Christie, Mrs. Archibald H. ed.
James Pearsall & Co., London,
Republication in hardback of a series of 6 magazines in the late '30s to early '40s. Some of the articles are of interest such as the ones on Schole House for the Needle and Opus Anglicanum. More for fun than for serious research. SB
Intermediate


Embroidery: A Complete Course in Embroidery Design and Technique
Brown, Pauline
Mallard Press, New York, 1986
This is an excellent book to learn how to read a chart, to learn basic stitches, to learn how to determine the order in which to stitch a pattern, to learn finishing for projects, and to get a feel for the interplay between threads and the materials to which they are applied. SB
Beginner


Embroidery: A History
Warner, Pamela
Batsford, London, 1991
ISBN# 0 7134 6106 3
A wonderful survey of embroidery with over half the book on pre-1600 items. Good pics and drawings of a number of extant pieces. This book is hard to get as it is one of the required reading books for City and Guilds, but well worth the effort to find. SB
Beginner


Embroidery and Animals
Messent, Jan
B. T. Batsford Ltd., London, 1984
ISBN# 0-7134-4333-2
Good book for learning to take drawings of animals, identify which embroidery stitch will convey the essence, and determine the appropriate color combination. The concepts can be applied to historic style embroideries, but won't help develop the 'medieval eye' the historic embroider needs. SB
Intermediate


Embroidery and Tapestry Weaving: A Practical Text-Book of Design and Workmanship
Christie, Archibald H.
Sir Isaac Pitman & Sons Ltd., London, 1920
An examination of the stitch, the manner of stitching, and the design of the stitches in primarily 17th Century textiles. The author worked with the items first hand and is a good secondary source for the researcher or designer. SB
Intermediate


Embroidery From Traditional English Patterns
Evans, Ruby
Batsford, London, 1971
Simple basic patterns and stitches that were used in Victorian times on clothing. More information than what is given in the book is needed to translate this to our clothing in the time periods the SCA emphasizes. SB
Beginner


Embroidery Masterworks: Classic Patterns and Techniques for Contemporary Application -- From the Textile Collection of the Art Institute of Chicago
Bath, Virginia Churchill
Henry Regnery Co., Chicago, 1972
This book shows the actual textile, presents a pattern for transfering the design, and sets out each of the stitches used. The commentary includes details on the original which will help recreate the original. SB
Advanced


Embroidery Stitches
Snook, Barbara
B.T. Batsford Ltd., London, 1963
This one in a series of "how-to" books by Barbara Snook. The directions are very clear and the book is organized by stitch method as well as type. Good general book. SB
Intermediate


Embroidery Stitches
Wilkinson, M. E.
Frederick A. Stokes Co/The Anchor Press, New York/Essex, 1912
The first book to arrange stitches alphabetically with very clear diagrams. Long out of print, it is a fun book to use, but other books are of more general use. In addition, there is no information on source or use of stitches. SB
Beginner


"English Domestic Embroidery Patterns of the 16th and 17th Centuries", Pp. 1-14 plus plates.
Nevinson, J.L.
The Walpole Society, London, 1939-40
This chapter in the 28th volume of the Walpole Society publications is a study of the patterns and trends in patterns used by individual embroideress during the 16th and 17th Centuries. The author had access to major collections of textiles and pattern books for his study. Solid secondary source. SB
Intermediate


English Domestic Needlework of the XVI, XVII, and XVIII Centuries
Reminington, Preston
Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York, 1945
Book from an exhibit of items on loan from several famous private and public collections. Pictures in B&W but photographic quality. Commentary and descriptions by the curator with lots of interesting detail. SB
Advanced


"English Embroideries Belonging to Sir John Carew Pole, Bart." Pp. 43-66.
Wace, A. J. B.
The Walpole Society, Oxford, 1933
This is an article in the 21st Volume of the Walpole Society publications, and is extremely hard to get. The article is a catalogue of a personal collection with notes on each, pictures of some, and commentary by one of the foremost experts on historic textiles of the time. Many of the items are from the 16th C. A great resource for the researcher. SB
Advanced


English Embroidery
Kendrick, A.F.
B.T. Batsford, London, 1913
Out of print. Starting with Anglo-Saxon period through 18th c., Kendrick provides historical background on each of these periods as it relates to English embroidery. Mostly B&W photos which need serious magnification. Good book for research. No stitch diagrams or instructions on techniques used. IB
Intermediate


English Embroidery in the Royal Ontario Museum: Sixteenth to Eighteenth Centuries
Brett, Katharine B.
Royal Ontario Museum, Toronto, Ontario, Canada, 1972
Wonderful pictures with some in color. Each piece is identified with date, materials used and stitches. An excellent resource. SB
Intermediate


English Heraldic Embroidery and Textiles at the Victoria and Albert Museum
Lamb, Clara, Robert M. Collins, Cedric J. Holyoake
Victoria & Albert Museum, London, 1976
Pamphlet - few pictures, but excellent descriptions. Good for the researcher. SB
Advanced


English Historical Embroidery
Snook, Barbara
B.T. Batsford Inc., London, 1960
An excellent overview of needlework techniques, styles, stitches, and types of fabric and thread used during different times and for what use. It draws on other books listed in this bibliography, but is quite useful for putting all the pieces together in a coherent fashion. Out of print, but worth getting a copy. SB
Beginner


English Medieval Embroidery - 10th to 14th C.
Christie, A.G.I.
Clarendon Press, Oxford, 1938
The definitive book on Opus Anglicanum. Definitely out of print - running $1200-2000. Ask to see it through your Inter library loan program. Christie has examined, photographed and researched various pieces of Opus Anglicanum. Must read if you are interested in this subject. IB

This book covers the history of English Medieval Embroidery with a focus on Opus Anglicanum. Still the best book on this topic even 70+ years after its publication. A must for the serious medieval embroiderer. [Note: currently running $2500-4000] SB
Advanced


Erica Wilson's Embroidery Book
Wilson, Erica
Charles Scribner's Sons, New York, 1973
ISBN# 0-684-16318-7
Excellent book for learning stitches with plenty of diagrams and well written instructions. Nice overview of embroidery techniques such as blackwork, whitework, and silk & gold thread. Mostly B&W photos. Keep in mind that this is an overview of techniques used in various periods and in various countries. Some historical info. Out of print but can readily be found in used bookstores. IB
Beginner


Fitzwiliam Museum Handbooks: Samplers
Humphrey, Carol
Cambridge Univ. Press, Cambridge, 1997
ISBN# 0-521-57592-3
Good pictures and clear descriptions of the samplers in their collection. Book includes eighteen 17th C. samplers from several different countries. SB
Intermediate


From the Archives: A collection of 18 out of print articles on old embroideries and Samplers Dating from 1925 to Present
Bennett, Eileen, ed.
Eileen Bennett, Jenison MI, 2002
While many of the articles are from Ms. Bennett, included are articles by Donald King, Leigh Ashton, Esther Averill and HE Kiewe. Not much is new information, but useful for filling some gaps. SB
Advanced


Guide to English Embroidery
Wardle, Patricia
HMSO, London, 1970
ISBN# SBN 11 290030 5
Wardle was a research assistant at the V&A for 10 years with GW Digby and was the predecessor to S. Levey. The book, while primarily in black and white, is an excellent overview of English Embroidery with many examples pre-1600. Stitches and threads used are identified. Very useful for developing an eye to context of patterns and usage. SB
Intermediate


Handbook of Stitches
Petersen, Grete and Elsie Svennas
Van Nostrand Reinhold Co., New York, 1959, 1966, 1970
200 Embroidery Stitches including clear information on smocking, tambour work, quilting, and drawn thread. SB
Intermediate


Here Be Wyverns: Hundreds of Patterns Graphed from Medieval Sources
Spies, Nancy
Arelate Studio, Maryland, 2002
ISBN# 0-9718960-0-3
Lots of wonderful patterns from many different resources. If you plan on using one of these patterns for a contest, just beware that if a pattern was used in one medium, that does not necessarily mean it was used in the medium for your contest entry. SB
Intermediate


Historical Needlework: A Study of Influences in Scotland and Northern England
Swain, Margaret H.
Barrie & Jenkins, London, 1970
ISBN# SBN 257 65213 2
A survey of what influenced needlework with lots of examples taken from private houses. About half the book covers16th and early 17th C needlework. Lots of discussion on design, stitches and threads along with reference materials for each chapter. Good material for a beginning researcher. SB
Intermediate


Illustrated Catalogue of English Embroidery: Exhibition of English Embroidery Executed Prior to the Middle of the XVI Century
Burlington Fine Arts Club
Burlington Fine Arts Club - Cheswick Press, London, 1905
30 plates and hundreds of descriptions of privately held textiles. Excellent resource for the researcher. An excellent choice to get through interlibrary loan. SB
Advanced


Islemeler: Ottoman Domestic Embroideries
Black, David & Clive Loveless
David Black Oriental Carpets, London, 1978
ISBN# 0 9505018 2 4
The book from a small exhibition. It covers the stitches, threads and fabrics and how they were used. A couple of pre-17th C examples, but most of the items are undated. Good detailed pictures. SB
Intermediate


La Broderie: Précis Techniques
Ferrari, Colette
Dessain et Tolra, Paris, 1979
ISBN# 2-249-25101-0
The first 30 pages of this French book, has an overview of the history of embroidery with pictures of items not, or poorly, pictured in other books to my knowledge. Includes clear B&W's of the Sens purse, a bargello bed, and a piece of or nué, to name a few. SB
Advanced


La Broderie Russe Ancienne
Maiassova, N.
Iskousstvo, Moscow, 1971
Text primarily in Russian, with wonderful plates of embroidered works. Most of the plates are of pre-1600 work. SB
Advanced


Lariqueza del Bordado Eclesiastico en Checoslovaquia
Drobna, Zoroslava
1949
Primarily B&W pictures of embroideries of which about half are pre-17th C. Very little decription which is in Spanish. The pictures cover nearly every form of embroidery in clear detail. SB
Advanced


Mary Gostelow's Embroidery Book
Gostelow, Mary
EP Dutton, New York, 1978
ISBN# 0-87690-344-8
Nice survey of embroidery styles and techniques with clear instructions. Some have comments on historical background and pictures of examples. SB
Beginner


Mary Thomas's Dictionary of Embroidery Stitches
Eaton, Jan
Crescent Books, New York, 1989
ISBN# 0-517-690861
The best book on stitches and techniques IMHO. When I can take only one book, this is the book I take with me. SB
Beginner


Mary Thomas's Embroidery Book
Thomas, Mary
Dover, New York, 1983
ISBN# 0-486-24530-6
Excellent book on stitches and techniques. Easily available in second hand stores. SB
Beginner


Medieval Craftsment: Embroiderers
Staniland, Kay
Univ. of Toronto Press, Buffalo NY, 1997
ISBN# 0-8020-6915-0
Staniland, Keeper of the Textiles at the Museum of London, provides an excellent overview of what professional embroidery was like during the Middle Ages, incl. Techniques, wages pd., designers, guilds, inventories. Her research & documentation is good. Exc. Photos. Good first book for needleworkers interested in the Middle Ages. IB

Staniland's passion is the Age of Chaucer, so that this book has more information on truly medieval embroidery than many books. SB
Beginner


Medieval Embroidery. includes "The Technique of European Pictorial Embroidery in the Middle Ages", "Genres of European Pictorial Embroidery in the Middle Ages", and "The Importance of Figural Embroidery in the Middle Ages".
Kurth, B.
Ciba Limited, Basle, Switzerland, 1945
IB

Good for research. SB
Intermediate


Naalden Wekten Wonderen. Borduurkunst der Alte Middeleeuwen in de Nederlanden. Exhib. Cat. Museum Fodor, Amsterdam, 15 Juli-25 Sept. 1960
Haaren, H. Van
Museum Fodor, Amsterdam, 1960
Mostly black and white photos of this exhibition of late medieval embroideries from the Netherlands. Some of the photographs are so clear they show each stitch. SB
Advanced


Needlework: An Illustrated History
Bridgeman, Harriet and Elizabeth Drury
Paddington Press, New York, 1978
ISBN# 0 7092 0045 5
A series of monographs chronicling the development of embroidery in the different parts of Europe and the US. Excellent overview material. SB
Intermediate


Needlework School
Embroiderers Guild Practical Study Group
QED Publishing Ltd., London, 1984
ISBN# 0-7112-0387-3
Probably one of the single most useful books in a Beginners collection. It is really a basic course on major techniques of embroidery in one book. SB
Beginner


Of Household Stuff: The 1601 Inventories of Bess of Hardwick
The National Trust
The National Trust, London, 2001
ISBN# 0-7078-0329-2
The actual inventory as written, room by room. Fascinating to see the descriptions. Good information for research. SB
Advanced


Paradise Revisited: British Samplers and Historic Embroideries 1590-1880
Whitney Antiques
Witney Antiques, Oxon, UK, 2000
ISBN# 0-9518186-8-6
Catalogue from an exhibit. While only one item is pre-1600 there are a number from the first half of the 17th C. Pictures are wonderful, even if not strictly relevant for the SCA. SB
Intermediate


Patterns from Peasant Embroidery
Beautement, Margaret
Batsford, London, 1968
Some of the patterns shown also appear in period pattern books, but there is no indication of time source in this book. The beginning embroiderer should be wary of using this book without further research. SB
Beginner


Reader's Digest Complete Book of Embroidery
Coss, Melinda
Reader's Digest, Pleasantville NY, 1996
ISBN# 0-89577-874-2
Lots of wonderful descriptions of stitches and possible uses for them. One of the best books on stitches and techniques I've come across. Includes goldwork. Some of the designs with few changes would be useful to the beginning SCA stitcher. SB
Beginner


Royal School of Needlework: Book of Needlework and Embroidery
Synge, Lanto, editor
Wm. Collins Sons & Co. Ltd., London, 1986
ISBN# 0-00-411710-7
From the early Middle Ages through the 1800s various experts in their field cover in depth the backgrounds of canvaswork, samplers, patchwork, applique, needlelace, whitework, eccleasiastical needlework, and embroidery & costume. Out of print but well worth the search! IB
Probably one of the best overviews of needlework and its role in european culture of different eras. Highly recommended reading for putting needlework in context. SB
Beginner


Royal School of Needlework: Embroidery Techniques
Saunders, Sally
Batsford, London, 1998
ISBN# 0-7134-8401-2
Excellent presentation on techniques and styles of silk shading, crewelwork, blackwork, and goldwork. Unfortunately all the patterns and interpretations are modern. SB
Intermediate


Sakrale Gewander Des Mittelalters
Muller, Theodore ed.
Hirmer Verlag, Munich, 1955
This is the catalogue of an exhibit in Munich of medieval textiles. The text is in German. The commentary by Sigrid Müller-Christensen. The B&W pictures are clear with excellent detail. SB
Advanced


Samplers and Stitches: A Handbook of the Embroiderer's Art
Christie, Mrs. Archibald
B. T. Batsford Ltd, London, 1929
Organized by type of stitch, the book gives long descriptions of how each should be worked. Wonderfully descriptive, but quite incomprehensible for a novice embroiderer. Unfortunately there are few if any dates attached. SB
Advanced


Samplers and Tapestry Embroideries
Huish, Marcus
BT Batsford Ltd/Dover, London/New York, 1990/1970
ISBN# 0-7134-6453-1
Republishing of a 1900 & 1913 book which covers 17th C. English Needlework Samplers. The book is organized by what motifs the sampler contains such as human figures, verse, etc. and undertakes to explain the how and why each was created and in what year. There is a small section on stitches and stumpwork. SB
Intermediate


Samplers from A t Z
Parmal, Pamela A.
Museum of Fine Arts Publications, Boston MA, 2000
ISBN# 0-87846-481-6
A brief collection of samplers including a couple Mamluk items. While most are not specifically relevant to our time frame, they are many of the lesser photographed examples of samplers and the detail pictures are excellent. SB
Advanced


Samplers From the Victoria and Albert Museum
Browne, Clare & Jennifer Wearden
V&A Publications, London, 1999
ISBN# 185177-309-6
Extremely clear photos with year and country of origin specified. Good pictures of the Bostocke Sampler (1598) and lots of early 17th Century examples. Extremely useful for understanding stitch interrelationships, colors and thread usage. SB
Intermediate


Samplers: Yesterday and Today
Colby, Averil
B. T. Batsford Ltd., London, 1964
Excellent book for understanding the role of samplers and the usage of different types of patterns as an expression of the needleworker. She also talks about the use of stitches, threads, fabrics, etc. in fair detail. There is a section of the 16th C as well as later time periods. She is very careful to identify sources is many instances. SB
Advanced


Scottish Embroidery: Medieval to Modern
Swain, Margaret
Batsford, London, 1986
ISBN# 0 7134 4638 2
A nice survey of embroidery with some items that are not usually included in embroidery books including a number of pre-1600 items. A nice book for some depth for the historic embroidery researcher. SB
Intermediate


Silk-Embroidered Linen Cloths from the 16th and 17th Centuries in the Danish National Museum
Garde, Georg
Danish National Museum, Copenhagen, Denmark, 1962
65 pieces from the museum's collection and private collections are shown and commented upon. While not spectacular, they are wonderful examples and little shown in other books. Good for adding some depth of field study. SB
Advanced


'Some honest worke in hand...' English Samplers from the Seventeenth Century
Staples, Kathleen and Lynn Tinley
Curious Works Press, Greenville SC, 2001
ISBN# 1-298584-02-0
Wonderful color plates of 18 English samplers. The commentary is fascinating. While none of the samplers are early enough for the SCA, some of the early ones show designs from 16th century pattern books. Fascinating commentary and pictures clear enough to copy in needlework. SB
Intermediate


Stitches from Old English Embroideries
Pesel, Louisa
Percy Lund, Humphries & Co. Ltd., London, 1912 & 1921
A wonderful portfolio of diagrams of 35 stitches. Each is linked to the item in the V&A in which the stitch is found. Long out of print and expensive to obtain on the secondary market, it is fun to view, but provides limited usefulness to the researcher. SB
Intermediate


Studies in Textile History
Gervers, Veronika ed.
Royal Ontario Museum, Ontario, Toronto, Canada, 1977
ISBN# 0-88854-192-9
A compendium of monographs on a variety of textiles and embroideries including 'Icelandic Medieval Embroidery Terms and Techniques' by Elsa Gudjonsson, and others by other top names (Dorothy Burnham, Elizabeth Crowfoot, Mechthild Lemberg, Santina Levey, and Sigrid MüllerChristensen). SB
Advanced


Textile Conservation and Research
Flury-Lemberg, Mechthild
Schriften Der Abegg-Stiftung, Bern, 1988
ISBN# 3-905014-02-5
While most of the book focuses on conservation of actual textiles, the very specificity of the information on threads and techniques provides wonderful information for the serious historical needleworker. SB
Intermediate


Textile Treasures: An Introduction to European Decorative Textiles for Home and Church in the National Museums of Scotland
Tarrant, Naomi
National Museums of Scotland Publishing Ltd, Edinburgh, 2001
ISBN# 1 901663 64 7
Good overview of embroidery and textiles in Scotland. Pictures are of many lesser known works. SB
Advanced


Textiles: Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum
Cavallo, Adolph S.
Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum Trustees, Boston, 1986
ISBN# 0-914660-8
Catalogue with descriptions and pictures of over 260 items, many with embroidery or of lace and pre-17th C. SB
Intermediate


The Anchor Manual of Needlework
Anchor
Interweave Press, Hong Kong, 1990
ISBN# 0-934026-59-9
Excellent coverage of needlework techniques and stitches. One of the best bargains for information on how-to. The diagrams are clear and easy. SB
Beginner


The Batsford Embroidery Course
Williams, R. Anne
Batsford, London, 1991
ISBN# 0-7134-6479-8
Good overview of different styles and techniques of embroidery. Helpful to gain an acquaintance with terms and materials. However, the material included here is presented in greater depth in other books on this list.
Beginner


The Complete Encyclopedia of Needlework
de Dillmont, Therese
Running Press, Philadelphia, 1972
Recently reprinted again for the upteenth time, Dillmont's pre-1900 publication is comparable to "The Joy of Cooking" as a good all-around reference book. She presents info on variety of needlework techniques from lacework and appliqué to making cords, mending, knitting and cutwork. She even includes a chapter on embroidering on silk and velvet and working on linen. An excellent buy for your library. When I'm travelling, I take this book with me - I have an old DMC edition which is quite tiny and compact. AG
While very detailed, it takes a solid background in basic needlework to understand the descriptions. SB
Intermediate


The Complete International Book of Embroidery
Gostelow, Mary
Simon and Schuster, New York, 1977
ISBN# 0-671-22886-2
A quick survey of embroidery styles and patterns from around the world. Mostly modern in focus. For general interest in patterns only. SB
Intermediate


The Complete Stitch Encyclopedia
Eaton, Jan
Quarto Publishing Ltd., London, 1986
ISBN# 0-8120-5731-7
A great book to carry with you as a reminder of how-to or what a stitch will look like when completed. Clear diagrams, but the reader needs a basic understanding of embroidery to have the text be really useful. SB
Intermediate


The Creative Art of Embroidery
Snook, Barbara
Hamilton Publishing Group Ltd., London, 1972
ISBN# 0-600-31752-8
Good overview of embroidery techniques. The book contains clear diagrams and suggestions for non-period practice pieces in each area. A good book to gain a breadth of working knowledge in each technique area. The leap from this book to period style projects would be minimal. SB
Beginner


The Embroiderer's Flowers
Beck, Thomasina
David & Charles, Devon UK, 1992
ISBN# 07153-9901-2
Recommended for those interested in Elizabethan period. Beck melds her experiences in embroidery, gardening, and lecturing (12 years for V&A) into one well-illustrated & well-written text of how flowers have been used from the time of Elizabeth I to present day. She tends to generalize; be mindful of what's period because dates are often omitted where we would desire them. IB
Intermediate


The Embroiderer's Garden
Beck, Thomasina
A David & Charles Craft Book, Newton UK 1987
ISBN# 0-7153-0691-X
Beck melds her interests in gardens and in embroidery to bring an understanding of where the designs for both overlap. Embroidery of plants, gardens, mazes and other garden elements are shown through various centuries. This book will especially interest those interested in Tudor and Elizabethan embroidery. SB
Advanced


The Embroiderer's Story: Needlework from the Renaissance to the Present Day
Beck, Thomasina
David & Charles, Devon UK, 1995
ISBN# 0-7153-0238-8
Excellent for getting a feel of the life and work of a person who embroidered both as a hobby and professionally. While only a small portion of the book related to pre-1600 it is a good work for getting some perspective on the craft. SB
Intermediate


"The Embroidery Patterns of Thomas Trevelyon" Pp. 1-38 plus plates
Nevinson, J. L.
The Walpole Society, Glasgow, 1966-68
A chapter in the 41st volume of The Walpole Society publications, sets out a wonderful commentary about Thomas Trevelyon and his pattern book of 1608. Included are 197 embroidery patterns. Thanks to Francesca von Hesse for pointing out this wonderful embroidery pattern source. SB
Intermediate


The Evolution of Samplers...Embroidery and Sampler Time Line...A Four-Hundred Year History of Sampler Making
Bennett, Eileen J.
The Sampler House, Jenison MI, 2001
Ms. Bennett has traced the history of the sampler and embroidery. It is presented in timeline format and the first 10 pages are pre-1600. As a compendium of research it helps put many of the developments of society and embroidery in perspective. SB
Intermediate


The History of English Embroidery
Victoria and Albert Museum - Barbara Morris
HMSO , London, 1961
Pamphlet with black and white pictures. Good overview with nice set of technical notes on pictures. Useful for research generally even though most of the items appear in other books. SB
Intermediate


The Needle's Excellency
Mallett
Mallett, London, 2000
A private catalogue produced by Mallett whose chief executive is Lanto Synge. A few pieces are 16th C and many are 17th C examples of needlework and textiles. Wonderful pictures and commentary includes information on threads and stitches. Useful for the researcher or Advanced needleworker. SB
Advanced


The Needlework of Mary Queen of Scots
Swain, Margaret
Ruth Bean Publishers, Carlton, Bedford, UK, 1986
ISBN# 0-903585-22-7
For those interested in Elizabethan needlework, one would need to look at the work produced by this Queen, especially during her captivity and association with Bess of Hardwick. Good historical research of both her life & her needlework, including canvaswork, slips, & pictorial embroidery. IB
Intermediate


The Needleworker's Dictionary
Clabburn, Pamela
William Morrow & Co., New York, 1976
ISBN# 0-688-03054-8
A wonderful book to figure out terminology with a bit of history thrown in for interest. Lots of little pictures of embroidery from all ages and countries; some I haven't seen elsewhere. A fun book to have and useful too. SB
Intermediate


The Red Book of Sampler Stitches
Bennett, Eileen
Eileen Bennett, Jenison MI, 2003
This book supersedes her 2 prior books in an expanded and updated version. This book includes surface embroidery stitches in addition to the pulled work. Her directions are still some of the best I have ever come across. SB
Intermediate


The Sampler Company's Book of Alphabets Motifs and Borders
Keyes, Brenda
The Sampler Company, Retford UK, 1999
ISBN# 0-9535892-0-X
Charts of counted thread designs from samplers. While most are post 1600, some are similar to those found in period model books and embroideries. Use with care for SCA. SB
Beginner


The Smithsonian Illustrated Library of Antiques: Needlework
Carvallo, Adolph. S.
the Cooper-Hewitt Museum, NYC and the Smithsonian Museum, Washington D. C., 1979
Brief overview of needlework in the different areas of the world. A good book to start with, but adds little for the well researched embroiderer. SB
Intermediate


The Victoria & Albert Museum's Textile Collection: Embroidery in Britain from 1200 to 1750.
King, Donald, and Santina Levey
Canopy Books, New York, 1993
ISBN# 1-55859-652-6
Although this book is currently out-of-print, it is worth every cent if you can locate it. Should be considered one of the #1 resources in your needlework library. Excellent color photos - many are shot close up. Descriptions of each piece are brief but give fabric, stitches, size of piece, date, & thread used. IB
Intermediate


Three Hundred Years of Embroidery 1600-1900: Treasures from the Collection of the Embroiderer's Guild of Great Britain
Johnstone, Pauline
Wakefield Press, South Australia, 1986
Ms. Johnstone was on the curatorial staff of the Dept of Textiles at the V&A. This is a wonderful survey of needlework and its links to the changes in art. This is in part the predecessor book to Treasures From the Embroiderers Guild, but some items differ and the focus of the books differs. SB
Intermediate


Tissus D'Egypte Temoins Du Monde Arabe VIII - XV siecles
Andre, Paul, Director
Musee d'art et d'histoire & Institut du Monde Arabe, Geneva/Paris, 1993
This the catalogue of an exhibit of over 200 textiles and embroideries from the VIII-XV C. The text is in French and has wonderfully detailed descriptions of the fabric, its base thread, its weave, the design, etc. SB
Advanced


Traditional Embroidered Animals
Don, Sarah
David & Charles Publishers, Devon UK, 1990
ISBN# 0-7153-8967-X
Great book for the historic embroiderer. Don has taken a variety of historic pieces and broken down each into pieces for recreation -- stitches, patterns, threads, etc. SB
Intermediate


Treasures from the Embroiderers' Guild Collection
Benn, Elizabeth (ed)
David & Charles, Devon UK, 1995
ISBN# 07153-9829-6
While a wonderful book, it contains little from the pre-1600 period which is not present in other books referenced in this list. The book is organized geographically and may be of interest for possible patterns for those doing non-European personas. SB
Intermediate


Upstairs Downstairs Plain & Fancy: British Samplers and Historic Embroideries 1590-1880
Whitney Antiques
Whitney Antiques, Oxfordshire UK, 1999
ISBN# 0-9518186-7-8
Exhibition Catalog - several late 16th and early 17th C items with good color pictures which are from private collections. SB
Advanced




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