Library Journal 2015
The white thread-on-white fabric style of whitework has roots stretching as far back as the ancient Egyptians, and whitework appears in the embroidery traditions of a variety of cultures. This guide to whitework focuses primarily on traditions of the British Isles, such as Ayrshire embroidery, Mountmellick, and candlewicking, with a few forays into Continental embroidery styles, including Madeira embroidery and cutwork. Each type of whitework has its own chapter, which begins with a history of the technique, a guide to commonly employed stitches, and historical and contemporary examples of the technique in use. An encyclopedia of stitches follows, including stepby- step photographs of each stitch as it is constructed, as well as textual instructions. Though many of the basic stitches are familiar to stitchers with a general knowledge of embroidery, each type of whitework uses its own specialty stitches, and information about these stitches and their assemblage can be difficult to find in general embroidery references. VERDICT Traditional whitework embroidery—especially Mountmellick and cutwork—is starting to get some attention on embroidery blogs, and these classic techniques will appeal to stitchers with sophisticated tastes.