Jacobean Crewelwork came to the height of popularity in the early 17th century. This primarily Elizabethan technique drew inspiration from the explorations and trade in the India Ocean region. The cross-pollination of materials, aesthetics and design influenced styles of embroidery leading to favoured motifs such as the 'Tree of Life' festooned with an abundance of exotic oversized foliage, flowers and creatures. These motifs are still extremely popular today.
Blackwork is a historical technique that came to prominence in King Henry VIII reign. Rooted in Spain and the Moorish traditions. Traditionally Blackwork is a counted embroidery creating 'diaper' or geometric patterns with adjoining back stitches. The complexity of these designs is never ending and work wonderfully as fill-in for flora & fauna. The outline is worked in stem or chain stitch. Today Blackwork has developed into a way of stitching in the style of photorealism.
Canvas Shading is slightly different to Canvas Stitches. Both techniques are counted techniques worked on a base fabric that has an open weave and can be traced back historically to 16th century. Canvaswork has gone in and
out of fashion over the generations with a dip in the 18th century and a huge revival in the 19th century. However, in modern day terms, Canvas Stitches is when the technique uses a myriad of stitches to create texture, tone depth to an image. Canvas Shading generally uses only a few stitches and primarily 'tent' stitch to create a tonal rendition in the style of photorealism.