Beginner’s Guide To Blackwork by Lesley Wilkins

Inspired by the past, Lesley Wilkins illustrates her blackwork embroideries with a whole host of wonderful designs – flowers, plants, birds, animals and figures….fancy learning a new technique?  Maybe this one will be for you….

About The Author

Lesley Wilkins discovered blackwork samplers on a school visit to the Victoria and Albert Museum in London when she was only ten, and has been hooked ever since. Her fascination with the craft has led her to become not only an embroiderer of extraordinary skill, but also an expert in the history of blackwork. She has collected thousands of patterns from all over the world, and her own work is inspired by historical motifs, patterns and borders.

Who Is This Book Aimed At?

Those with an interest in more intricate embroidery techniques.


The author does not leave in the dark as to what we require and what materials we will need; everything is described right from the beginning…

beginners guide to blackwork
Everything is separated into chapters, as is the usual format.
We may be unfamiliar with the type of fabric required for this type of embroidery. Thus this is all explained for us.

As the book information tells us:  ‘Patterns are created by small stitched units which are combined in many different ways – some heavily textured, some delicate and light. Borders can be built up by repeating and joining motifs Clear step-by-step photographs accompany the author’s comprehensive instructions, and the motifs, borders, fill-in patterns and images are all charted, with inspirational pictures of embroideries showing how to build up finished designs.

What Makes The Book Special?

Often when we think of blackwork – we can be forgiven for thinking ‘black’ right?  Yet this shows that it can be multicoloured, which gives the technique a modern edge.

blackwork in colour!

The types of pattern are separated, for example, Plants and Flowers….a good all round crowd pleaser.


Even the finishing stages of photography have been detailed…..

Mounting work and the finishing stages are all illustrated so we can carry out the ideas for ourselves.

Anything Wrong With The Book?

If this sort of embroidery doesn’t excite you, then it will not be one for you to purchase as it is focused on the technique of blackwork. There is quite a traditional approach to the designs, but this recognises the history of this form of embroidery.


Lesley Wilkins has created a comprehensive book about the blackwork technique, covering the materials to use, how to use a chart, getting started and what designs we could do. It will provide you with the basic skills you need to begin creating your own blackwork pieces with confidence.

Why not get your copy from BookStore and support independent bookshops?