Drawn Thread Work and Cutwork
© Lorelei Halley 2009
Drawn Thread Work is a form of embroidery in which fabric threads are removed, by being pulled out (warp threads or weft threads). Particular styles of this kind of work include hemstitching, needle woven drawn thread work borders, and Myreschka. One of the early forms of Hedebo also falls into this class. (Hedebo changed considerably in style and structure over time; some early forms were geometric cutwork and drawn work, and some later forms were curvilinear cutwork.) See Compare for distinctions between pulled thread and drawn thread. Hardanger, reticella, and Ruskin work also involve cutting rectangular holes in the fabric, so they are more properly called "cutwork".
There are 2 structural classes of drawn thread embroidery:
Threads are removed in only one direction, usually weft threads (Sometimes called punto tirato). This leaves vertical bars of fabric threads which may then be decorated or bound into groups or bundles (sfilato, in German, Durchbruch). This includes needle weaving, hemstitching and various kinds of drawn thread border embroidery.
Threads are removed in both directions, leaving a very loose fabric base with fairly large holes which may then be decorated (sometimes called punto tagliato). (Cilaos from South America) (In German doppel Durchbruch) Some kinds such Hardanger make small or relatively small square or rectangular holes and fill these holes with decorative stitching. Some kinds remove most of the woven threads and leave only a very fragile framework remaining: reticella, Russian drawn work, much Spanish drawn work and Mexican drawn thread work.
Cutwork can be applied to any embroidery where holes are cut into the fabric, including square or rectangular holes, but also round, oval, marquise or more complex shapes. Reticella, Lefkara work, Ruskin work, and Hardanger make rectangular holes. The round, oval and marquise shapes are used in include one style of Hedebo, Broderie Anglaise.
Threads withdrawn in one direction only (just the corners will have threads drawn in 2 directions):
By Jenny Bargh of Sydney -
642 This one is a sampler, a sort of test piece on scrap fabric, but it is interesting to see how she thinks about planning a design.
A link to her blog: http://jennysaustralianneedleart.blogspot.com/
By Margaret Bartlett The first row shows the
order of working as she adds detail to the piece.
Marg's blog addresses:
234 c/o MFB This is hemstitching. I can't quite tell what the diamond shaped part in lower center is: it may be a pulled thread work background.
More drawn thread photos
Threads withdrawn in 2 directions:
Jenny Bargh's pieces:
635 636 638 639
641 643 644 645
Pieces by Grace Lister: In these she is using Russian drawn ground as the background, which means removing vertical and horizontal threads across the whole fabric (except where the white motif is). She has left the white original fabric as the motif. In the 2nd piece she did not cut all across, but did some interesting things with diagonal rows.
Grace Lister's photo page: http://stitchinfingers.ning.com/photo/photo/listForContributor?screenName=36ufhwlk95fcr
Grace's Ruskin work: http://api.ning.com/files/taDZ5KJK**tnN6k1oagnlnQsCvXft6phMJwdbbCQE76BNb2nikXSisf0lR07vyBhci20EL2ZSinFkP6SL8uwOf6BxMuIxru*/Ruskinworktraycloth1.JPG
Examples by Unknown Embroiderers
|232 c/o MFB This has a drawn thread background. The yellow appears to be darning worked over the withdrawn area to fill in the motifs, a common practice. The green griffons are fabric appliquéd on top of the drawn thread background.||362 JL work in process|
|See Hardanger also.|
Cutwork generally means a design where the cut threads do not follow the weave of the cloth itself, but are curvilinear or irregular shapes. These shapes are outlined in buttonhole stitch, Hedebo buttonhole or overcast to stabilize the cut edge and keep the fabric from fraying. The shapes are then filled with needlelace stitches.
|296 c/o JL||This one may be Hedebo.|
More Hedebo: http://pinterest.com/ligijablesic/hedebo-embroidery/
A site with history, how-to, and photos: http://xn--kge-0na.info/hedeboeng/samlingen
|365 c/o BH|
Other online sources for photos of drawn thread work:
Carolyn Foley's blog
http://www.carorose.typepad.com Look for tag "embroidery"
http://carorose.typepad.com/my_weblog/2009/03/drawn-pulled.html drawn and pulled corner
http://carorose.typepad.com/.a/6a00e54ed11f4b883301156e3c324e970c-pi the actual piece
She has a wide variety of different styles of drawn thread and pulled thread work, all very well made.
D. Paula Banerji
Yvette Stanton. Writes books on some ethnic drawn thread techniques.
Specializes in goldwork, but also drawn thread and whitework
stitchinfingers photos search on drawn thread also do search on whitework, pulled
Susan fantastic drawn thread
http://pinsneedles.wordpress.com/category/whitework/ about her whitework sampler
Historic Italian drawn thread and early needlelace: http://italian-needlework.blogspot.com/
Julie Thomson http://stitchinfingers.ning.com/photo/photo/listForContributor?screenName=1x0xruimnrkuj
Pulled Thread Work
Last edited: 08/30/14