Mary Corbet

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I learned to embroider when I was a kid, when everyone was really into cross stitch (remember the '80s?). Eventually, I migrated to surface embroidery, teaching myself with whatever I could get my hands on...read more

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Needlework Book Online – Great Learning Tool


Amazon Books

The Encyclopedia of Needlework by Thérèse de Dillmont is hosted online by Project Gutenburg. It’s a great learning tool for any level of embroiderer. What will you find in the book?

There are about 600 pages in the Encyclopedia of Needlework by Thérèse de Dillmont, and within those pages, you’ll find just about any technique related to needlework. Some techniques are covered more thoroughly than others, and, like many old books, the author assumes familiarity with the basics. However, this isn’t to deter the modern needleworker! You’ll find fantastic patterns, ideas, and inspiration that will enhance your future projects.

Take, for example, the section on Venetian Lace.

Example of Venetian Lace

While Venetian lace may not be part of your embroidery repertoire, the design is certainly adaptable to other embroidery styles, such as Jacobean or crewel work.

If you like blackwork and other counted thread techniques traditionally worked on linen, you will love the section on patterns for linen embroidery. You’ll find an array of patterns that can be modified for all kinds of projects!

Example of Patterns for Linen Embroidery

The encyclopedia even has step by step instructions on knitting and crochet.

If you haven’t perused the Encyclopedia of Needlework by Thérèse de Dillmont yet, take some time to browse through it, and add it to your favorites! It’s a great resource for any needleworker! Enjoy!


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(3) Comments

  1. I have a hard copy of this book in the original French language. I love it. It has 800 pages and 1200 illustrations in finely detailed engraving. And yet, despite all the info there is still a need for a website like this one.
    Brigitte in Paris

  2. Hi Mary,

    Thanks for your great book review on this. I just picked it up last night at an auction for a dollar, and I was hoping you had done a review on it when I got home because I didn’t have the chance to look at it much before buying it and I don’t have any other embroidery books to compare it to. I’m even more excited about the book having read your review and realizing what’s in there that I missed while flipping through it the first time around!

  3. In the “Encyclopedia of Embroidery” by Thérèse Dillmont, section: “Plain Sewing, Position of the Hands, Figure 2 states, “the stuff ( item being stitched?) should be fastened to a cushion……” what end of the material is fastened to the cushion and how? Thank you.

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