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Topic: Austrian/European Cross Stitch Style?  (Read 4018 times)
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« on: December 01, 2009 08:29:33 AM »

I was recently on vacation in Austria, and in Salzburg, I visited a folk society's store selling local/regional crafts and art pieces. I noticed a lot of cross-stitched items that consisted only of red motifs on white cloth -- is there a name for this style? They had a book featuring various red-on-white patterns, but it was in German and my language skills are limited in that tongue. I haven't been able to find much information since returning. Any help would be appreciated!
« Reply #1 on: December 01, 2009 11:18:36 AM »

I believe it is just called "redwork", at least that is what my mom and grandma have always called it.  Based on a quick google here is a site that looks like it has some background.  http://www.prettyimpressivestuff.com/redwork.htm
« Reply #2 on: December 01, 2009 11:35:26 AM »

Thanks, wvudarling! I am familiar with redwork, but I was under the impression that it was more of a form of embroidery, not cross stitch. The items I saw in Austria definitely were cross stitched. Is there a name for that?
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« Reply #3 on: December 02, 2009 08:11:46 AM »

Could it be blackwork done with red thread?

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« Reply #4 on: December 02, 2009 10:34:32 AM »

I'm not sure if there was ever a  true 'term' for that type of embroidery...I've Wiki'd and Googled the subject and not found any hard & fast terminology for 'Austrian' cross stitch. Kittykill's correct in that one form was originally called Black Work as that color of thread was the most affordable to all societal classes.

The Norwegians have 'Hardanger', white drawn thread needlework done on white or cream 22-count fabric.

In the late 19th century, a dark red cotton thread called 'Turkish Red' (Americanized to Turkey Red)  was developed that didn't bleed on fabric and was inexpensive to manufacture.  That made it affordable for all households, and 'Red Work' became popular in embroidery, cross stitch and quilting for the 'common' homemaker all over Europe and the Americas.  The trend lasted into the 40's in America.  If you have a Flickr account, type in 'Red Work Embroidery' in the search engine.  You'll be blown away at the stuff that's out there!

If you'd like to find some fantastic old patterns, visit the Antique Pattern Library at http://www.antiquepatternlibrary.org/.  There are many, many German/Bavarian stitchery books on this site for free download.

That's the extent of my knowledge, I hope it helped you a little!

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« Reply #5 on: December 02, 2009 03:26:35 PM »

This is my first post so I hope I can help.  Perhaps what you saw were monochrome or one color patterns like in silhouettes? 

« Reply #6 on: December 03, 2009 10:21:17 AM »

Thank you all! Perhaps monochrome is the term, but these items I saw were not elaborate or shaded like monochrome "portraits" I've seen. They were simply traditional motifs (jumping stags, abstract designs, etc.) done in red thread. The only thing that led me to believe there might be a term for this type of cross stitch was the aforementioned book of patterns that were all rendered in red thread.
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