Free Blackwork Patterns

This page is full of creative and authentic free blackwork embroidery patterns for those who would like to try a very old type of embroidery.

What is blackwork embroidery?

The elegant blackwork embroidery is a very old form of counted thread embroidery.  It is usually done on white even-weave fabric with black thread so that the geometric designs stand out.

Blackwork embroidery was done in monochromatic, usually black.  However, red, blue, green, gold and silver threads were used monochromatically as well.

Blackwork design is created by an outline that is then filled in with one or more of the many filler patterns that are available.

Blackwork embroidery was originally used in 16th century England as an adornment on garments, most often the cuffs, collars or hems.

Visit our blackwork embroidery topic page to learn more about this special type of embroidery.

What stitch is used for blackwork? Is blackwork just backstitching?

Since traditional blackwork was done on the collars, cuffs and hems of clothing, the needlework would be seen from both sides of the fabric. The double running stitch was used most often so the front and back looked the same.

Another stitch that is commonly used is the Holbein stitch.  It looks like a backstitch from the front but is actually the running stitch worked back upon itself.

If only one side of the fabric will be visible, backstitching works well. Backstitching is used in embroidery to outline since it creates a nice straight line.

Below are free blackwork embroidery patterns that have lovely geometric designs.

Many are authentic historical designs, such as Authentic Tudor Blackwork Designs from Dragon Lore.  

This free blackwork pattern was taken from an original 16th century sampler which can be found in the Victoria and Albert Museum in London, England.

A theme that is seen to be recurring from both medieval and renaissance textile embroidery is that of artichokes!  There is a wonderful free blackwork embroidery pattern, Artichokes Border from Elizabethan Blackwork.

Scroll down to see the many outline designs as well as lovely filler blackwork embroidery designs.  They really are beautiful and the geometric design is classical!

Free Blackwork Patterns

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B is For Blackwork PDF

Work a single motif or a small blackwork sampler on evenweave or Aida fabric just for fun with this pattern. Blackwork Journey

Blackwork Border Patterns

Two free border patterns for blackwork designs. Imaginesque

Blackwork Chart

Free blackwork chart. Needlework Tips and Techniques

Blackwork Fill-In Patterns

Dozens of fill-in patterns to choose when making a blackwork sampler or project. Imaginesque

Blackwork Filler Pattern Gallery

FREE downloadable PDF file of 30 Blackwork Filler Patterns. With Fabric and Threads

Blackwork Swirls Fill Pattern

A nice fill-in pattern when embroidering a blackwork project. Imaginesque

Blackwork Tree Pattern

Here is a free blackwork pattern. Needle 'n Thread

Blackwork Xmas Tree Card

Tween and teens who a beginning to embroidery will love using this free pattern to make a Christmas tree card as a gift. Young Embroiderers

Coptic PDF

A thank you free counted blackwork design from Practical Blackwork. Practical Blackwork

Free Blackwork Patterns

Here are some free Blackwork patterns for those who want ether to try Blackwork - a tiny hummingbird, an elephant and finally patterns for Russian and English biscornus. Russian Blackwork

Grapevine Mirror Frame

Use this vine and leaf motif for a mirror frame or adapt it in other ways – perhaps for a matching placemat and napkin set for your dining room. Cross Stitching

Jane Seymour's Blackworked Cuff

16th-century re-creation of the blackwork design on Jane Seymour's cuff. Elizabethan Costume

More Free Blackwork Patterns

Peppermint Purple has a selection of free blackwork patterns for you to try. Instant download available by giving name and email address. Peppermint Purple

Pears PDF

Download and print this free blackwork pear pattern. Needlework Tips and Techniques

Simplicity PDF

Here is a simple stitches, pretty blackwork pattern and it's free. Blackwork Journey

Tree Blackwork Design PDF

Download and print this free tree pattern. Needle N Thread

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