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Introduction to Schwalm Whitework 

part 2

In this second part, we will embroider the interior of the lower patterns using 2 different techniques.

In the first one, we will tie the drawn threads to form a grid and then use a weaving technique to make the pattern. In the second one, we will simply embroider the motif by using the drawn threads as they present themselves.

Tie threads to embroider on a grid


Form a grid by removing 2 threads alternately and leaving 2 in both directions. To get a clean job, make sure to remove the threads to the edge of the pattern and cut them very cleanly.

We must now fix the grid by embroidering an attachment stitch over each thread crossing. This work is done with a very thin thread and color identical to the fabric, here DMC lace thread n ° 80 ecru.

That’s what you have to get. For this refer to the explanations below.

Diagram of basic stitch for attaching threads

Here are 5 pictures to understand how to make the basic stitch to tie the threads. In this example and for the clarity of the photos, I used a wire too thick and contrasted. In general, we use a very thin thread and the color of the fabric so that the stitches are invisible.

It is necessary to work diagonally on the pattern and to think that each stitch must pass over each cross of threads of the grid.

When a row is finished, turn the work 180 ° to start a new one. You will notice that by proceeding in this way each stitch is doubled.


Woven pattern inside the heart



We are going to make a very simple grid pattern that is embroidered with 2-ply of stranded cotton.

Each segment is woven on 3 bundles and has 7 thread passages. This allows to go directly to the realization of the next part by changing direction but with the thread just continuing. In this embroidery, one must always be extremely attentive to the fact that the thread (that could be passed from one pattern to another on the back of the embroidery) must not be visible on the right side. 

Here is the heart fully embroidered. Do not hesitate to make partial patterns along the edges because the surface must be completely filled.

Stitches used in the lateral parts



For the realization of this pattern, it is necessary to draw 1 thread out of 3 and only horizontally.

This stitch is made with DMC thread “Spécial à broder” n°25. Follow the explanations provided below.

Here is the finished pattern completely filled.

Pattern diagram

Here are 5 images of the procedure to realize this stitch named in German “Waffelstitch” and that I translated literally by ” embossed stitch”.

When you get to the 5th image and start a new row of stitches, you have to turn the work 180° to do it.