For whitework embroidery lovers everywhere, Yvette Stanton has recently published a new and unique whitework book: Sardinian Knotted Embroidery: Whitework from Teulada.
If you are familiar with Yvette’s last whitework book, Portuguese Whitework: Bullion Embroidery from Guimarães, you’ll recognize the approach: she introduces us to the history and culture surrounding a more obscure form of whitework embroidery, carefully educating the reader on the technique while offering a beautiful selection of manageable projects to embroider.
It’s a successful formula that brings to light exquisite forms of whitework embroidery that we might otherwise never know anything about if it weren’t for Yvette’s careful research and instruction.
Sardinian knotted embroidery is essentially a counted embroidery technique utilizing the coral knot to create lacy, textured, white-on-white geometric designs that involve combinations of, and variations on, a variety of traditional motifs.
And – good news! – the supplies involved in Sardinian knotted embroidery are easy to find and fairly readily available pretty much anywhere!
The book begins with a brief history of Sardinia and of Punt ‘e Nù, which is the knotted stitch used in this style of whitework.
We’re treated to gorgeous photos while exploring the technique used on the native costumes of the Sardinians.
At the beginning of the book, there’s also a very nice overview of the traditional motifs used in Sardinian knotted embroidery.
Then, we move into the materials section of the book. What do you need to work this style of embroidery? The supplies aren’t too complicated – even-weave linen and white threads!
Perle cotton #12 is is mostly used, although #8 can be used for thicker lines.
Traditionally, the style was not necessarily worked on even-weave linen, since it was used predominantly to decorate clothing. Yvette discusses the differences between using even-weave and plain-weave linens and offers some guidelines for situations where you would choose a plain-weave linen over an even-weave (in making and embellishing clothing, for example).
And you don’t even need a hoop – the embroidery is worked in hand.
After all the background information is well-covered, we move into the projects section of the book.
There are 11 projects in the book, ranging from small and simple to larger and more complex.
For example, you can learn how to embroider and finish this small doily…
…how to embellish and finish a linen hand towel…
…how to embellish the edge of a sheath-style dress…
…and how to construct the dress, as well.
Other projects include a full table cloth, table runner, a cushion, small framable pieces, biscornu, and the like.
Each project includes sequenced instructions for completing it, including preparing the fabric, following the patterns, and all the finish work.
Following the project section, you’ll find the techniques.
This is where Yvette goes into detail on all the aspects involved in Sardinian knotted embroidery, from setting up the linen in preparation for embroidery…
…to stitching (via step-by-step diagrams)…
…to recognizing and fixing mistakes…
…to finishing the edges.
The instructions are super clear and easy to follow. Yvette takes into account every situation you can get into when stitching the various motifs of Sardinian knotted embroidery. She covers the nitty-gritty stuff, like changing stitch directions, starting new threads mid-line, working motifs that join back up with each other, working diagonally, vertically, and so forth.
And, for Lefties, you’ll be happy to know that every section of directions is repeated and color coded, for both right and left handed stitchers.
There are tips and instructional notes throughout the whole book to help clarify what you want to achieve with your stitchery as you work this technique.
I particularly like this photo tip above, because it demonstrates what you can achieve with coral knots – a heavier, textured line on the front of your embroidery, with only the tiniest stitches visible on the back.
Finally, at the end of the book, you’ll find an insert with removable pattern sheets.
As usual, Yvette has given us another beautiful whitework technique in Sardinian Knotted Embroidery. The book is thorough and the technique is easy to grasp, thanks to her insightful and meticulous instructions.
If you love whitework, add it to your library!
Where to Find Sardinian Knotted Embroidery
The most affordable source for Sardinian Knotted Embroidery is through the following book affiliate:
Worldwide with free shipping, you can find Sardinian Knotted Embroidery through Book Depository.