Schwalm Whitework and Blue (3)

Leaned on embroidery that was worked on blue striped linen, there was also work on white striped linen that was stitched with blue thread.

In the example shown here, three graduated shades of blue were used –

dark blue for the Coral Knot stitches and the small leaves,

medium blue for the half-eyelet scallops and the large leaves

and light blue mainly for the filling patterns.

Embroidering the filling patterns in colour is very unusual. You have to have a lot of experience to do this, because every small, not completely cleanly worked area would immediately catch the eye.

The table cloth shown here is made from hand-woven striped linen. This linen was usually only woven in widths of around 80 cm. So here two lengths of linen were joined.

Schwalm Whitework and Blue (2)

Matching embroideries that were worked on blue striped linen, other pieces were also embroidered, but then often on white linen.
A particularly beautiful example is the counterpart to the table runner from 1993.

Christa Waldmann has embroidered a family tree as a wall hanging, using the same blue linen thread for the outline stitches and the surface embroidery.

Different withdrawn thread patterns

as well as very varied and

imaginative patterns that come from the early Schwalm whitework were worked into the motifs.

The name of the embroiderer can be found in the motifs.

The year of creation was placed at the bottom – with the individual digits separated by typical small Schwalm Cross stitch elements.

A 4-unit needle-weaving band is worked at the edge.

Schwalm Whitework and Blue (1)

Beside white linen also linen with different blue stripes used to be woven by hand in the Schwalm. Depending on the fineness, it served as sack or wagon cloth. Remainders of the finer linen are often used for embroidery these days.

These are then worked either with white threads

or with white for the filling patterns and a matching shade of blue for the outline stitches and the surface embroidery.

If the linen is woven finely enough, withdrawn filling patterns are worked into the motifs.

Slightly coarser linen is often embroidered with with stitches lying on top of the fabric – patterns that come from the Early Schwalm Whitework.

This offers another interesting variant of Schwälm Whitework.

Filling Pattern – No. 568

category: simple drawn thread filling pattern
linen used: 13.5/cm thread-count
threads used: coton à broder No. 20
stitches used: Four-Sided stitches
horizontal center axis: four thread column

While working Filling Pattern – No. 567 I also found the pattern emerging on the back very interesting. So I tested it as a front pattern. The pattern shown below is a practice exercise only. You can see it used in a shape at the end of this article.

Because it’s the same pattern reversed, the prep work is the same. For the sake of simplicity I show it here again.
It makes sense to start in the middle. In addition to the 4 threads that remain, a pair of threads is withdrawn on each side.

Four threads are now alternately left on both sides of the withdrawn thread line and another pair of threads is withdrawn.

Rotate the work 90°, but do not turn it to the back side this time.
Four-Sided stitches are embroidered over the four middle threads from left to right, each bundling 4 fabric threads.

The Four-Sided stitches of the adjacent rows are worked staggered by 2 fabric threads.

This gives the remaining fabric threads of the withdrawn thread lines a zigzag alignment.

Securing the thread ends is done either under the edge stitches or in the back under the Four-Sided stitches.

The pattern is suitable for medium-sized areas.

I embroidered it in a tulip (here 16/cm thread count linen and No. 25 coton à broder).

I find the combination with the Wave stitch appropriate, as can be seen here in the tip of the tulip.

Variations can be achieved by using finer thread or – as here – by withdrawing one or two more threads.