Three Books Exploring the World of Embroidery

Stitch after stitch, embroidery remains one of the most accessible forms of needlework. Here are reviews of three books on embroidery from around the globe. First, discover a collection of sixteenth- and seventeenth-century English embroideries from the Ashmolean Museum; second, learn about Afghan embroidery; and third, get inspired by stumpwork, goldwork, and surface embroidery from the Beetle Collection.

World of Embroidery

English Embroideries of the Sixteenth and Seventeenth Centuries in the Collection of the Ashmolean Museum
By Mary M. Brooks
Distributed by Woodstocker Books, Woodstock, New York, 2004. Hardbound, 96 pages, $22.95. ISBN 1-85444-193-0.

Many good things do come in small packages, and this book is one of them. Beautifully illustrated with many details, the book examines embroidered pictures, a needlework box, samplers, glove gauntlets, coifs, a forehead cloth, a purse, a tape measure, flowers, and a bag. Details on life in the seventeenth-century add to the value.

World of Embroidery

Embroidery from Afghanistan
By Sheila Paine
Seattle, Washington: University of Washington Press, 2007. Softbound, 88 pages, $22.50. ISBN 978-0-295-98661-6.

Sheila Paine, textile expert and author of numerous books, presents a visual exploration of the rich embroidery of the geographically-separated tribes in Afghanistan. Over 30 objects and 100 color photographs showcase the needlework in their cultural and social context.

World of Embroidery

The Stumpwork, Goldwork and Surface Embroidery Beetle Collection
By Jane Nicholas
Bowral, New South Wales, Australia: Sally Milner, 2004. Hardbound, 424 pages, $34.95. ISBN 1-86351-318-3.

If you love raised embroidery, you will love this book. Jane Nicholas is the author of four other books on stumpwork, and her love for the technique shines through in each of them. In this sumptuous edition, she concentrates on the many varieties of beetles. Make your own to embellish photo frames, adorn a purse, add pizzazz to a jacket lapel. Just being able to look at the exquisite photographs is worth the price of admission.

Enjoy learning more about embroidery stiches in PieceWork’s blog series “A Stitch in Time.”


Discover more about embroidery in PieceWork!

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