Schwalm embroidery is a whitework technique that originated in Germany, in the Schwalm region. It apparently developed in imitation of Dresden lace, which was much more expensive, worked by professional embroiderers and sold to the wealthy. Schwalm is the “folk” version of Dresden lace, worked by peasant women in their homes to decorate their household goods and clothing.
Schwalm embroidery combines drawn thread work, pulled thread work, and whitework. The motifs are generally bold, folk motifs – tulips, hearts, flowers, birds.
Schwalm is traditionally whitework, worked with white thread on white linen. Today, it is sometimes worked on colored linen, but normally with white threads, and sometimes, it is seen worked in colored thread on white or colored linen.
The technique is used to embellish household linens, perfect for table linens.