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Berlin wool work

Also known as Berlin work

Berlin wool work is a canvaswork technique which originated in Berlin in the early 19th century.  Pattern books with coloured symbols were published with various designs, from motifs of flora and fauna to copies of famous paintings.

Some of the early designs were stitched on fine silk canvas using silk thread, although later wool became more common and larger size canvases were used.  Subsequent developments included the use of small seed beads,  chenille thread and turkey work where the raised pile was cut to provide raised elements.

Berlin wool work is characterised by the use of bright coloured wool, often attributed to the advent of synthetic aniline dyes in the 1850s.

The formulaic nature and the bold colour choices of Berlin wool work led to it falling out of favour and the rise of the art needlework movement, and ultimately the creation of the Royal School of Needlework.

Berlin wool work Stitches