Blackwork Instructions

All of my modern Blackwork Embroidery Patterns contain full information on how to do blackwork along with all DMC thread colour requirements. However I thought it would be useful to add some instructions here too.

If you are a cross-stitcher / embroiderer you will find blackwork very straightforward as Blackwork (sometimes called Redwork) is essentially just backstitch. Some people also use Holbein stitch (sometimes referred to as Double Running Stitch) as often Blackwork is created to look the same both sides of the material.

I recommend Backstitch for all my patterns, but will cover the other stitches for your reference.

So, what are these stitches if you have never used them before ?


  1. Come up at A
  2. Go back through at B
  3. Then back up at C
  4. Repeat


Holbein Stitch

  1. Come up at A
  2. Go back through at B
  3. Then back up at C
  4. Go back through at D
  5. Repeat
  6. Once you have gone as far as you need, come back along the same line coming up at E
  7. Then go back down at F 
  8. and back up at G,and you should then see a solid line where you have stitched on both sides of the material



It's not often I use this stitch in my designs, but should you come across it I am hoping this will help. 


 This stitch is indicated on charts as shown in this diagram. It has a start and end that are not on the same square of the chart which is I think what throws people.


But actually it's really straighforward....I promise! 

It is called the 'knights move' as it follows the same path as a Knight on a Chessboard, and if you play chess, then having this in your mind will really help you. 

If you have a look at this diagram it will hopfully help. Instead of going diagonally to the next corner of the square, you go over one square and along two to place your next stitch. Use the red dots to know where to put the next stitch.


I hope these instructions have helped you but if things are still unclear please feel free to contact me.