Broderie anglaise (French: “English embroidery”) is one of the most delicate and elegant needlework techniques. Whitework embroidery has developed historically in many countries i.e. mstyerskaya glad in Russia, mountmellick in Ireland, broderie anglaise in England, hardanger in Norway, chikankari in India. The main fabric for white embroidery was often linen.
The whitework embroidery for women’s underwear and children’s clothing was extremely popular in Europe in the 19th century, experienced the peak of its popularity in the 1950s and has been keeping its role nowadays. In the 21st century such embroidery embellishes clothes from dresses and blouses to shorts and jersey tanks and is not associated with lace lingerie. The whitework embroidery looks incredibly beautiful on vintage-style clothing.
The play of light and shadow reveals the beauty of a white pattern on a white fabric. The expression of embroidery depends on combination of different textures and techniques, contrast of silk threads and matte surface of the linen cloth, the raise and density of the whitework embroidery. All the techniques accumulated over the centuries are applied and developed in the contemporary embroidery i.e. satin and fabric overlays, back and buttonhole stitches, lace nets and wholes.
Boiling and coloring of the ready-made linen garments reveal a new vision and give new breath to the traditional embroidery technique. The whitework embroidery does not lose its beauty and noble past because of stone wash and tie dye treatments, but it becomes fashionable… and colored!