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Textile Art

My interested in textile arts started in elementary school, when a classmate brought some knitting needles and showed me how to knit a scarf for her teddy bear. I tried to knit too, but didn't get anywhere since my knitting kept getting wider and tighter. Looking back, I think I never removed the stitch from the needle that I worked from, so every row I get twice the number of stitches. Discouraged and too shy to ask my little teacher to show me again, I did not touch any needlework until high school.

The local library was a big discovery for me. I discovered cross-stitch, crewel embroidery, needlepoint, quilting and actually finished a cross-stitch piece in the three weeks allowed for the library book with the chart. I also learned knit properly, as well as how to crochet. My interests persisted through college. The large textile department, and the larger book collection at Cornell introduced me to the historical textiles and I was hooked!

I love all forms of textile, especially those that are almost obsolete. If you want to see some pictures of what I'm working on and what I have done, you can find them in the project gallery.

I am trying to collect as much information on as many kinds of textile techniques. So please help if you know some form of textile work that are not mentioned. You can reach me by email at
Needlework Techniques Index: a b c d e f g h i j k l m n o p q r s t u v w x y z

Asissi Embroidery: Asissi embroidery can be called reverse cross-stitch, where the background is stitched (often in one color only), while the foreground of the motif is left untouched. Some books also refer to it as "red work" since the thread are often red. This is not to be confused with the "Red Work" of American Colonial era, which is a form of embroidery/quilting.

Blackwork: Blackwork started out as a form of find embroidery with black silk thread. The earlier examples are seen in the tudor and renaissance paintings of the nobles and royalties.

Candlewicking: American Colonial embroidery technique, which was originally done with the same cotton thread as that used for candle wicks.

Crochet: Crochet makes loops with a crochet hook.

Drawn-Thread Work: Old linen embroidery/lace making technique where some threads from the base fabric is removed. originally done with the same cotton thread as that used for candle wicks.

Huck Weaving: Huck weaving is actually an embroidery technique, though the end product often look like it is woven. It is also known as Swedish Weaving. Yarn/thread is woven over and under the top threads of the base fabric (either Huck Fabric or Monk Cloth) to make single or multi colored patterns.

Knitting: Making fabric by creating loops with 2 or more needles.


Nalbinding is easily confused with knitting if you are just looking at the finished product. It is actually a form of needlelace. Some versions are tightly woven, such as some of the pieces found in Bronze Age. It is also possible to make lace with this technique.

Quilting: Quilting can be defined in two ways. One is the technique to make blankets, or as it has become, a way to put fabric together for any sort of use.

Rya Rug

"ryijy" is a traditional finnish wallhanging. They were used back in the 1700's to insulate the rooms and look nice. They are still popular, although people nowadays mostly use the simpler ones as rugs.

"ryijy" might be a scandinavian, or even finnish, tradition (the way they are made, knotting or weawing wool-yarn to a "fishnet-type" canvas, ending up with a pile about 3-4 inches long)


Spinning is the general term for turning raw fiber material into thread or yarn. Hand spinning is done either on a spindle or a spinning wheel. I have a drop spindle that I had bought for spinning wool, and actually did manage to spin 20 or 30 yarns before I got distracted.


Sprang is an old technique, dating back to the Vikings and possible before. It can be considered to be a form of weaving or braiding, while it often looks like knitted lace.


Stumpwork is a form of raised, eclectic needlework.

It was briefly popular from around 1640 to around 1680, though it is more or less obsolete during other times in history. The term stumpwork could be referring to a wide array of techniques such as embroidery, needlelace and other needlemade fabrics. In general, there is a stiff supporting substance of wire or wood, covered with threads and fabric that are made separately. In addition to fabrics and thread, gems, beads, feathers and real hair are applied also. The results are made up into hangings, covers of boxes and chests. These items are not meant to be hardwearing for everyday use, but rather for decorations and display of skills.

A great deal of early work are found in England, though there has been pieces discovered in Spain and Germany as well.


Tatting Tatting is essentially a form of knot tying, done either with a shuttle, or a needle.

Teneriffe Lace

A form of needlelace, teneriffe lace is done by weave around spokes of thread of a radiating circle.

Weaving: TBD.
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