Introduction to Schwalm Whitework
Here is the first part of a series of 3 explaining step-by-step how to make a project using the technique of Schwalm Whitework.
It is a technique of Germanic origin that is one of many traditional embroidery techniques, often white, practiced in Europe in previous centuries.
To make this project, I used
linen fabric 15 threads/cm
Cotton thread “Spécial à broder” DMC thickness n° 25
DMC cotton floss
Cotton thread for lace DMC n° 80 the same color of the fabric to attach the bundles of threads
Needles n° 26 sharpless for the main work, crewel needles n° 7 for the Palestrina stitch and crewel needles n° 10 for the satin stitch.
This embroidery is most often done all in white, tone on tone but here, for the clarity of the photos, I chose to embroider with the color DMC 826 on cream linen.
To make this embroidery, I mainly drew on Renate Fernau’s book
I am showing you here the most general link, where, if you are interested, you can get this book from but it is also available on many other sites. Unfortunately, the original is in German but there is an English translation. It is very well illustrated and I used the pictures and diagrams in my explanations.
Using the drawing you downloaded, trace the outline of the pattern on the fabric. It is essential to respect the right thread direction of the fabric during this work. If necessary, run a temporary thread that will mark the middle of the design.
Start by surrounding each pattern to be openwork with chain stitch and the “Special à broder” DMC cotton thread n° 25.
The coral stitch is very easy to do. It is actually a simple knot that is obtained by wrapping the thread around the needle. I find that the result is the most satisfactory when you start with the needle close to the chain stitch and you exit with the tip turned outward.
The upper part of the pattern is embellished with blanket stitch made with the “Special à broder” cotton thread.
The outer part of the work is now complete. In the next post, we will begin to embroider the interior of the motifs. This is the heart of this technique and it is in its realization that the originality of each work lies.
Introduction to Schwalm Whitework part 3 In this third part, you will find the explanations of the embroidery inside of the upper part of the project. Central part Form a grid by alternately removing 1 thread and leaving 3 in both directions. To get a clean...
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...