Most usually seen decorating and defining table and bed linen borders, drawn thread work is the simplest form of drawn work, which is the earliest technique of openwork embroidery and the foundation of lace making. It involves first removing warp or weft threads of plain woven fabric, then grouping and stitching them into different patterns.

Depending on which side you are working on, cut and remove either the warp or the weft threads in a gap of approx. 5mm, so that you reveal the opposite threads. By gathering and stitching these together in small bunches, you create an open pattern. It is a neat, elegant and ‘seamless’ finish, particularly for linen, as the cut edge has been turned back to form a border and this raw edge is stitched into the drawn work.

Any plain woven material can be worked in this same way, so long as the threads are strong enough to pull out cleanly, or else it can take for ever to do. If you feel like it, you can create interesting, striped patterns with the drawn threads by improvising, always based on lines and squares.

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