Pulled Thread Embroidery

Textile Art Book Reviews

At Mr X Stitch we love to review textile art and embroidery books for you. There are so many great books to discover, packed with needlework inspiration and textile techniques, so we dive into each book to find out what’s good, what’s bad and let you know why you should pick it up.

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Here’s what we think of Pulled Thread Embroidery by Marie-Helene Jeanneau.


The sub title of this book is ‘Stitches, techniques and over 140 exquisite designs’ so it’s jam packed with pulled thread pleasure. Pulled thread embroidery is a technique which involves sewing and pulling on the threads of the fabric you are using, allowing you to produce beautiful designs without cutting or removing anything.

About the author

Marie started embroidery as a child and as she became older she began to explore pulled threadwork in a contemporary way. By the 1980s embroidery was her life as she created her own collections and exclusive designs and taught many how to enjoy this beautiful craft. Sadly the book says Helene passed away in 2018 just before the publication of the original French edition.

Who is the book aimed at?

I think this book will appeal to anyone who likes the look of pulled thread embroidery. A seasoned pro will find some beautiful designs inside, and I always think no matter how much experience you have you still find some great tips when you see how someone else does things. Likewise, for a total newbie this book tells you what tools you need and how to produce some gorgeous designs.


The book is split into two sections. The first section details all of the stitches you can use including ‘how to’ diagrams, uses and tips. The second section shows fillings which include combinations of stitches giving you an idea of some of the possibilities on this art. The book says that all of the designs are taken from Marie-Helene’s book of samples and the majority are traditional designs dating back to the 18th Century alongside personal creations. The illustrations all include red lines to show where the top of your work will be as you stitch, what a handy thing to include!

Pulled Thread Embroidery


The photos are great. They give a really good example of what the stitches should look like and are clearly detailed as if you had some finished work in your hand. Definitely makes the stitches easier to visualise as you try them. Each stitch is also accompanies by an illustration of how to do it. The two work perfectly together to demonstrate the stitches .

What makes this book special?

I think the phenomenal number of photos and illustrations included make this book special. Most pages have four images on them. This is put together by a lady who really really loved what she did and knew other people would love it too if she passed her knowledge on in the right way. And she absolutely did. 

Pulled Thread Embroidery
Illustations and photos work side by side perfectly

Anything wrong with the book?

It just made me sad that the author did not get to see it and appreciate how much it would excite creative minds like mine. Given the original was in French, the translations have been done really well. That could have easily let the book down if a lesser publisher had handled it.


If you have ever fancied having a go at pulled thread embroidery , this is a great book to use. Tells you the basics and leaves you with so many stitches to select from you’ll be buzzing with beautiful ideas. Fascinating to look at even if you didn’t want to stitch because of all the lovely photos and illustrations too. Inspiring I’d say.

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