Wednesday, 11 March 2015

Candlewicking Embroidery


Candlewick Embroidery 
It is said Candlewicking embroidery came from the story of American pioneer women, while sitting around their fires at night, started embroidering pieces of heavy calico used to cover their wagons with the cotton wicking used in making candles. Both materials happen to be cream and, in order for the embroidery to be felt and seen, they stitched with French or Colonial knots as these stitches stood above the fabric.

Today Candlewicking has been refined, but it has retained its homespun charm and character. Simple stitches are used – satin and stem stitches with knots as the main stitch. When stitching you should use an embroidery hoop.

Material to use:
Calico (Muslin) 
Thread to use:
You will need to use a thicker thread. Pearl cotton from DMC is suitable.

Transferring a design:
On a piece of muslin (calico) trace off the preferred design leaving sufficient space between them for using your hoop. To trace, place the design under the fabric and draw the pattern using a soft sharp lead pencil or a blue fade away/wash away pen.

Right click to save design to try your own Candlewicking project. Note: The straight lines in the center of the flower is straight stitch
Colonial Knot Stitch:
Start off by bringing your needle through from the bottom of the fabric. So that you are starting your stitch with your thread on top of your work. Take the thread in your left hand between thumb and pointer finger. Push the thread over to the right, insert the needle underneath the thread. With your left hand bring your thread over the top of the needle.

You then have a little knot which you can slide down the needle and put the tip of the needle in where you came up from, give a little tug to tighten the knot and push the needle down from where the thread came up.

I hope everyone is having a good day or evening where ever you are.


  1. I haven't tried candlewicking but it was popular a while back when I used to do a lot of craft. It looks lovely Shiralee.

  2. Nanna Chel,
    I remember seeing candlewicking in a lot of craft books and magazines too. It seemed to be really popular and suddenly no one was doing it any more. Which is a shame because the materials are so cheap and they make something pretty.

  3. So lovely - understated beauty.

  4. Teri,
    So glad you liked it.