The History Of Redwork

"This type of embroidery started 100 years ago in Turkey.  The Turkey Red dye as used in Turkish carpets and was later exported to Europe where it was used in German speaking companies to dye cotton.  This particular dye did not fade, run or transfer and was considered a better alternative to silk threads.

German speaking immigrants brought Turkey Red Work to the United States in the late 1800's, and interest in this technique spread to other ethnic groups.  It was so popular that designs were printed on squares of perforated paper.  Woman chose motifs at their general store where the storeowner would rub a piece of wax over a perforated template, transferring the design to a piece of muslin.  The squares were sold for a penny, thus the name penny squares.  Designs were available well into the 1900's before coloured cottons became widely distributed.

The Victorian period greatly influenced Redwork designs.  That's why you will see many Kate Greenaway and other children's book designs.  'Blue Redwork' arrived later in the 1900's, the original blues were more indigo, and not the lighter blues used now.  Redwork embroidery started to fall out of favour in the 1930's, although it was occasionally used in quilts that combined embroidery and appliqué."


(Excerpts taken from Craft Needlework Age Magazine, Nov 1999)


Item # 9335069

Item # 9335102

Redwork in Blue

Red Revival

Redwork in Blue

Red Revival

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