Blackwork designs from 16th century sources

There are many books and websites showing designs for blackwork. When using these books, it's relatively easy to choose patterns that look appropriate for 16th century costume -- those with leaves or floral designs, most geometric designs, and some insects and animal motifs. However, I thought it would be nice to actually try to reconstruct the blackwork patterns seen in many portraits from the 16th century so that I know that the patterns I use are appropriate.

The following table describes the original source of the design (usually a portrait) along with the date (if known), then shows closeups of the blackwork in the portrait and a reconstructed design for counted stitch blackwork embroidery.

Source Original Design
Portrait of Mrs Pemberton, Hans Holbein, 1535
Portrait of Bess of Hardwick, , 1548-1550
© 1998-2003 Kirrily Robert (SCA Katherine Rowberd), All Rights Reserved
This page was last updated Tuesday, 28-May-2002 21:24:07 EDT