Needle-Weaving Bands

Needle-weaving hems and needle-weaving bands have a long tradition in Schwalm whitework.

They are available in a wide variety of designs, with narrow or wide pattern segments and in a wide variety of heights. In my documentation Schwalm Needle-Weaving Bands I have already shown 193 (!) different patterns . There are always new variants to discover. Of course, with a little skill, you can also create your own patterns.

The combined needle-weaving patterns, as you can see here in pictures 5 and 6, are also very interesting for me.

I found a very interesting needle-weaving band pattern of this category on one of my handed down collection pieces.
The middle band consists of a two-piece block pattern with spiders, the top and bottom bands are formed by a mirrored A-pattern.

(Information on the individual categories and detailed descriptions of the working methods can be found in Lesson #4 – Needle-Weaving Band Sampler.)

This needle-waeving band appears to contain an error. Although each of the three bands put together is worked in an even rhythm, the pattern segments of the middle part and those of bottom respective top part are of different widths. This results in mismatches in the overall appearance of the pattern.

If you pick out the individual segments – the pattern part that is constantly repeated – you will see that the segments of the upper and lower part each consist of 18 bundles, but those of the middle part only consist of 12 bundles.

Also, I noticed that the middle part was formed with extremely low units. Nowadays the height of a unit is usually set at 4 mm. Such fixed rules did not apply in the past. But I had never encountered such low units as in the middle part of the example shown here.

That encouraged me to try it out and combine it further. I was often surprised at how different the effect of the individual pattern combinations turned out. Eleven examples can be seen in my documentation Schwalm Needle-Weaving Bands. But there are many more.

I quickly embroidered a few samples. First I embroidered the pattern of the middle part with units reduced to 2 mm.

Then I placed an A-pattern, also reduced in unit height, but with only one row of holes between the triangles, next to it. I’m also considering whether to add a peahole or just a Four-Sided stitch to the finished needle-weaving band.

In another attempt, I stretched out the middle pattern a bit and worked a total of 14 bundles per pattern segment. Next to it I have placed a side part over the full unit height of 4 mm, but shortened to a pattern segment of 14 bundles and with two rows of holes; in such a way that the zigzag lines meet the spider parts.

By reducing the top pattern segment to 14 bundles, the base of the triangles extends over 8 bundles. I didn’t really like the combination with the below block of 12 bundles.
So I kept trying.

I will present one of the patterns that emerged in the blog post after next.

Didn’t you feel like playing with different possible combinations to find out new patterns?

Colourful Schwalm Embroidery

At the end of the 1980s and the beginning of the 1990s there was a phase in which Schwalm embroidery was colourful. Not in pastel tones, but in strong, sometimes even bright colours. At the time, Aenne Burda Verlag also made some suggestions for colorful Schwalm embroidery in several issues of its magazine Anna. The embroiderers were happy to take up these ideas. Own designs were also implemented in colour. The rustic style matched the furnishing style of the time.

Two shades of red as well as brown, green and golden yellow were chosen for the wall hanging seen here – embroidered by Irmgard Mengel.

The tightly, hand-woven linen made it possible to set the stitches precisely, as can be seen impressively not only with the leaves.

The high thread count of the linen allowed the effective embroidery of filling patterns,

which in this example were all worked with white thread.

The filling pattern embroidered into the tulip caught my attention. I will describe this pattern in the next blog post.

The edge was decorated with Four-Sided stitches and “Trachtenstich”-Costume stitch, and at the bottom with additional double Herringbone stitches.

With the changing taste of the time, these colourful embroidery mostly disappeared in cupboards and chests or were even completely disposed of. People found their way back to the nobler-looking, timeless and original whitework. Today, however, I’m noticing a slight trend towards a desire for subtle colourfulness.

Schwalm Whitework and Golden Yellow (1)

The colour gold and golden yellow in combination with Schwalm whitework has a long tradition. Because mainly gold tones were used to design the crowns.

Nowadays, the warm colour is also used for Christmas embroidery.

Its sparing use accents elements,

sets highlights,

ensures a harmonious rounding off and supports the effect of specific points.

Rarely, a delicate gold tone is used more lavishly, as here in the nativity scene.

All outlines and most of the filling patterns are embroidered in gold.

Patterns from the early Schwalm whitework were used as well as simple and Limet withdrawn thread patterns. The patterns of early Schwalm whitework, which do not require thread pulling, are particularly suitable for designing small areas.

Some single designs were embroidered in two colors in some areas of the robes of the Wise Men.

Merry Christmas!

Schwalm Whitework and Blue (5)

Heavy, blue and white damask linen with different patterns was also woven in the Schwalm (e.g. see background fabric here).
It was used for bed linen (last three pictures), bed and window curtains and tablecloths.

During a visit to the Schwalm Museum a few years ago, Gertrude Vorwerk discovered a remaining lot of such linen with the so-called “tree pattern”. She immediately bought up the entire stock.

First she made curtains (to be seen in the picture on bottom) and embroidered a corresponding swag with Schwalm motifs. She then used parts of the fabric to create a matching bedspread. In combination with hand-woven white linen embroidered in Schwalm whitework, she created a beautiful, huge bedcovering for a double bed.

The center features a popular crown motif, complemented by the embroiderer’s initials. A narrow strip of damask fabric was attached around it. For this she used the striped part of the pattern, which is also used as the edging.

The next strip, which is embroidered and arranged in a square, shows a circumferential wave motif. This stripe has been bordered with a slightly wider stripe of the damask weave.

An even wider stripe followed – embroidered with an elaborate whitework border.

A particular challenge was the continuation of the embroidery over the attachment seams. Gertrude mastered this brilliantly.

Another very wide strip of damask fabric was followed by an unembroidered strip of white linen, bordered with a narrow strip of damask linen.

It took Gertrude about 3 years to embroider her favorite patterns onto the old linen. In connection with the blue and white damask linen, a very unusual and unique blanket was created, which the embroiderer enjoys looking at every day.

Thank you for sharing!

Schwalm Whitework and Blue (1)
Schwalm Whitework and Blue (2)
Schwalm Whitework and Blue (3)
Schwalm Whitework and Blue (4)