Cutwork is a needlework technique that features embroidered designs with spaces cut completely out of the fabric. Cutwork is normally worked on linen, although it can be worked with equal success on cotton or cotton / linen blends. Normally, white threads are used to outline the focal part of the design. Between the focal elements of the design, bars are stitched independent of the fabric background, connecting the various elements of the design. Then, the background areas of the design are cut away, leaving an open window.
Cutwork is normally considered a part of whitework embroidery. It is used to embellish household items (table linens, fine hand towels, curtains, bed linens), church linens, and even clothing.