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.
|Portrait of Mrs Pemberton, Hans Holbein, 1535||
|Portrait of Bess of Hardwick, , 1548-1550||