Mary Corbet

writer and founder


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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Textile Research Center, Rabbit Holes, and Available Holly Towels,


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It’s mid-week, and I bet all of us in some way or another are grasping at time that keeps slipping through our fingers. So today I’m going to keep it really short!

Yes, well. That’s my excuse. In reality, the Stitch Fun tutorial I had planned for today is somewhere mid-editing. You might see it Friday if all goes well!

But in the meantime, I want to share with you a website that’s had my eye lately. It’s been terrific for browsing through on my phone, while waiting here and there for this and that. I like to bookmark good textile websites on my phone. It makes me feel like I’m at least learning something when I can’t be at work producing something!

Textile Research Center

The Textile Research Center’s TRC Needles website is an excellent rabbit hole for exploring textiles from all angles.

Think of the website as a kind of rambling index that will take you hither and yon, to specific items in museum collections, to general information about needlework publications, to definitions of types of needlework, and so forth.

On the about page for TRC Needles, this is how the folks at the Textile Research Center explain the project:

TRC Needles is a digital encyclopaedia that has been set up by the Textile Research Centre (TRC) in Leiden. It covers the enormous field of needlework, focussing in particular on appliquΓ©, beading, darned knotting, embroidery, needle lace making, passementerie, patchwork and quilting… click here to read the rest of the description

They call it a digital encyclopedia of decorative needlework. There’s lots of general and specific information on the website or accessible through the website. Much of the interesting stuff (like individual pieces of needlework in collections) are linked to, so that you end up discovering and encountering other textile-related websites or collections, and the next thing you know…

…you’re down a lovely rabbit hole!

It’s a great website to bookmark for exploring all kinds of information on decorative needlework when you have the chance to do some online explorations.

Holly & Evergreen Towel Sets

For those of you who might have missed out on the first round of Holly & Evergreen towel sets, I promised to get some more together for you, and I finally have. I’m happy to announce that I have a limited number of these Holly & Evergreen Towel Sets with the designs pre-transferred on them available to ship this Friday.

Holly & Evergreen Towel Sets

Please read the product description and the original article about the designs & stitches here, for further details.

They’re listed here in my shop right now, so if you would like a set, it’s a matter of getting them while they’re available.

Holly & Evergreen Towel Sets

I apologize for not taking pre-orders on kits and towel sets and the like, but I don’t sell tangible things that are not ready to ship. The needlework industry supply chain is tenuous – supplies aren’t always readily available – and I don’t like to keep people waiting after taking payment. So I only sell tangible goods when I actually have them ready to ship. If this round sells out, I will do my best to get some more prepared and listed in the shop as quickly as possible. Thanks for understanding!


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(13) Comments

  1. Thank you for finding such a lovely site and letting us know about it.
    I do feel a bit embarrassed though, learning about a site from my own country from someone who lives as far away as the USA…
    Well, I’m off chasing rabbits πŸ˜‰

    Best wishes,

  2. Dear Mary

    I’ve just browsed some of the TRC website and it looks really interesting especially if you are on the go and want to explore various textiles, it has a lot on various embroidery stitches and some of them I have not heard of before very interesting. Thanks for sharing TRC website with us and for the links. It’s good to know that more towel sets are available it is a shame that they are not available outside the US although I completely understand why the post is so expensive these days. I hope the rest of the week is not to stressful for you.

    Regards Anita Simmance

    1. No, it didn’t! Sorry about that! I can only prepare them in small batches. If you’re interested in a set, just drop me a line at mary (at) needlenthread (dot) com and I’ll add you to a list. I’ll contact you directly, before making the announcement of availability on the website.

  3. An excellent looking rabbit hole, indeed! Shall be dropping in for longer visits…thanks, Mary.
    Prayers continue for your Mom and family!

  4. Mary, thank you so much for the link to TRC. What an incredible resource! I have shared it β€” credit to you β€” with Atsushi Futatsuya for the article on craft vs. art, a subject he has been writing about on his FB page.

  5. On the holly towels – which design I love aside from the coincidence of name πŸ™‚ – maybe you could sell single towels as well? That would make the inventory go a little further, perhaps! I would love to get one towel, not so crazy about doing the design 3 times, however lovely it may be πŸ™‚


    1. Hi, Holly – Alas, single towels would make it more time consuming for me, considering the time to prepare, package, and process the shipping. Unless I charge significantly more for just one towel, it wouldn’t make sense for me to spend my time that way – which is why I offered the design for folks to transfer themselves if they don’t want the set. The pre-transferred set is a “luxury,” in a sense, for those who want to pay for it. In the future, if I can hire some help, then it might make sense to offer singles, and it’s something I will keep in mind … if the day ever comes! :-/

  6. First, it’s wonderful that your mother has recovered enough to go home. May her health continue to improve.
    Next – you are a wicked woman to write about TRS. How did you know I had a tight work deadline?

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