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Looking for information on hard to find vintage needlework books with plenty of free patterns, illustrations and instructions? Love needlework history? Then this list of free needlework books online is for you.
While, enjoy this Guide to 95 Free Needlework Books online. Any of the books are guaranteed to inspire you to try something new.
Just click on any of the book titles below, and the book will be accessible in a new browser window.
1. Art needlework, (1893) Brainerd & Armstrong Co. Philadelphia?
A basic book covering knitting, crochet and needlework stitches. Some illustrations and pictures for vintage patterns, 126 pages.
A complete manual of embroidery in silks and crewels, with full instructions for stitches, materials, and implements. Contains also a large number of original designs and design for crewel work. A great resource for historical background and well- illustrated stitches and patterns, 126 pages.
3. Art-needlework for decorative embroidery (1875) Savage, Eliza Mary Ann
A book for those who are interested in the history of needlework in art and literature. Few illustration, 136 pages.
4. Artistic embroidery; (1880):
Contains practical instructions in the ornamental branches of needlework (1880). Well laid out book with plenty of illustrations and design diagrams. Good source for unusual patterns, 150 pages.
5. Decorative needlework (1893) Morris, May 1862-1938
An excellent book with chapters on the history of embroidery covering stitches, couching, applique, setting up work, contrast and repetition, lines and curves, colors and coloring, heavy on description with good illustrations, 144 pages.
6. Designing for art-needlework (1915) Von Horvath, Guido
The book contains eight lessons ranging from basic needlework to making clothes for babies. Excellent illustrations and full- page design plates, 166 pages.
7. Designs in outline for art-needlework, (1879) Hale, Lucretia P.
An excellent little book about drawing, tracing and transferring patterns. No illustrations, 28 pages.
8. Needlework As Art, (1886), Viscountess Marianne Margaret Compton Cust Alford
Excellent chapters on style, design, patterns, materials, color, stitches, hangings, furniture, dresses, Ecclesiastical embroidery and English embroidery, well-illustrated and good plates. Excellent historical source with proper footnotes, 414 pages.
9. The art of needle-work, from the earliest ages, (1841), Stone, Elizabeth; Wilton, Mary Margaret Stanley Egerton,
The art of needle-work, from the earliest ages: including some notices of the ancient historical tapestries. Detailed chapters on early needlework, and the needlework of the tabernacle, Egyptians, Greeks and Romans, and the Dark Ages, - “She School”. No illustrations but a beautiful narrative with references to needlework in poetry, 426 pages.
10. Church embroidery, (1867) Dolby, Anastasia Marice
The book covers 12 chapters of well documented and clearly explained instructions on church linens, applique or applied work, proper monograms, framing of embroidery, proper implements for church embroidery, remarks in gold and gold bullion embroidery, illustration of 13 old stitches, discussion on embroidery silks and direction for stitches, and information on textile fabrics and robing the altar with a discussion of correct church colors and shades, 174 pages.
11. Church embroidery, (1911) Dryden, Alice, A. R. Mowbray,
The book is divided into 6 chapters with information on English ecclesiastical embroidery, pieces of English ecclesiastical embroidery, tools, materials, foundation and preparation, stitches, working with gold thread, figure work, general rules for the same. There are also chapters on applique, inlaid, Heraldic and lettering work along with design and principal of modern embroidery, 140 pages.
12. Church Embroidery, Ancient and Modern (1873) Dolby, Anastasia
The Holy Altar, and its Adornment, Eight Altars illustrated, and described for different kinds of Needlework Directions for executing Coloured Frontispiece of Hanging for Feasts of our Lord 20 ,Super-frontals Ornamental Crosses for Frontals, Monograms (various— Pulpit and Desk-Hangings Sermon-Cases — Band-Cases — Book-Covers — Alms-Bags — Alms Dish-Mats — Church Book-Markers Church Linen — Altar and other Cloths — Pouncing and Drawing Patterns on Linen for Ancient Embroidery — How to prepare Designs on Cardboard
13. Church needlework; a manual of practical instruction, (1907) Hinda, M.
Excellent source for clear images of patterns and stitching techniques. Well-illustrated with precise measurements for various garment and church linens, 123 pages.
14. Church Needlework: With Practical Remarks on Its Arrangement and Preparation, (1844) Lamber, Miss
With chapters on Ancient and Modern Ecclesiastical Needlework, the apparel of the altar, the cross and Sacred monograms, the Pede cloth, the symbolism of ornaments, the Fald-Stool and pulpit., 188 pages.
15. Needlework in Religion, (1923) Antrobus Mary Simmonds, Pitman and Sons
An introductory study of its inner meaning, history, and development; also a practical guide to the construction and decoration of altar clothing and of the vestments required in church services. Very detailed account of needlework in religion and its significance, covering both Jewish and Western customs, 352 pages.
16. Album de broderies au point de croix/ v. 1 – Cross-Stitch (1890) Dillmont, Therese
Excellent source for cross-stitch patterns includes a “Treatise on Cross-Stitch” with plenty of black and white illustrations, 84 pages.
17. Album de broderies au point de croix/ v. 2 - Cross-Stitch (1890) Dillmont, Therese
If you are looking for free cross-stitch alphabet patterns, this is a good source. The book is full of easy to read charts for alphabets of all kinds. There are also numerous border and all over cross-stitch patterns as well. The last chapter, in English, gives you directions for cross-stich embroidery, including its various stitches, how to join edges and make fringes, 100 pages.
18. Album de broderies au point de croix/ v. 3 - Cross-Stitch (1890) Dillmont, Therese
A continuation of the above with many all over and historical patterns, 80 pages.
19. Alphabete für die Stickerin, Dillmont, Thérèse de Verlag von Th. de Dillmont
A book of alphabets for embroidery, cross stich and monograms, 124 pages.
20. Cross-stitch embroidery, (1899) Wilkie, Harriet Cushman, The Priscilla Pub. Co.
A great collection of cross-stitch patterns in black and white charts, including some alphabets, 46 pages.
21. Drawn Thread Work, (19?) Dillmont, Therese, Mulhause, France
An indispensable reference book for Needlework teachers or anyone interested in learning drawn thread work. Each step is well demonstrated with clear pictures Includes Hardanger embroidery stitches as well. 108 pages.
22. Drawn Thread Work (19?) 2nd Series, Dillmont, Therese, Mulhause, France
Continues from the above Drawn Thread Work Series with more stitching instructions and excellent illustrations. 88 pages.
23. Designs for Hardanger embroidery, (1904) Peterson, Emma
While this book is only 28 pages, it is full of black and white photography of Hardanger embroidery patterns that can be easily adapted for your project.
24. Hardanger art needle work, (1904), Bye, Clara E. Mrs.
A collection of wonderful Hardanger patterns with well-illustrated stitching techniques, 88 pages.
25. Norwegian drawn work (Hardanger), (1905), Porter, Anna M.
An excellent book on Hardanger patterns, stitches and materials. Well-illustrated with plenty of black and white photos. 52 pages.
26. T.B.C. instructions and designs for Hardanger or Norwegian embroidery. (1915), Buettner, T., & co. (inc.) Chicago
Very good source for Hardanger stitches and projects, excellent illustrations, 56 pages.
27. The Priscilla Hardanger book, (1909), Brown, Nellie (Clarke), Mrs.,
A collection of beautiful designs in Hardanger embroidery, 60 pages.
28. A book of old embroidery, (1921) Kendrick A.F. (Albert Frank)
Excellent historical background information on needlework with some photographs, 154 pages.
29. An embroidery book, (1920) Arthur, Anne Knox, A. & C. Black, Ltd.
There are twelve chapters covering the following areas: the art and craft of embroider - the six points, construction and design, darning stitches – backgrounds and fillings, needle weaving – Russian open work and linked stitches, button-hole and border stitches, ham stitching and open fillings, laid work – basket and linen stitches, couching – French knots and bullion stitches, drawn thread and white work – Rhodian, Richeliau and Hedebo stitches, as well as decorative stitches, edgings and insertions, 179 pages.
30. An embroidery pattern book, (1917) Warring, Mary E., Pitman
There is no shortage of patterns in this book. The book covers everything from borders, darning and cross-stitch patterns, border designs on linens, decorative squares, circles and trees, borders based on curved linens, geometrical and leaf fillings, applique patters and Roman alphabet to embroidered initials and monograms, 171 pages.
An excellent source of antique patterns available for free use online. There are whole sections for beading, crochet, needlework, Berlin work, cut work, knitting, lace, Hardanger and many other patterns.
32. Beeton's Book of Needlework, (1886) Mrs. Beeton
One of the best resources on Tatting, including patterns, embroidery, knitting and crochet instructions as well as an excellent section on alphabets, 559 pages.
A good list of free Berlin work patterns in color that are free to use and share.
34. Colbert embroideries (1918) by Dillmont, Thérèse de,
Excellent source for embroidery patterns in color and outline format, 30 pages.
35. Corticelli Home Needlework (1898) L. Barton, Wilson
Wonderful color plate illustrations on shading or needle painting. A good source for stitch diagrams and needlework project for handkerchiefs, table linens and other items, 110 pages.
36. Dainty work for pleasure and profit, (1893)
A detailed reference book about all aspects of embroidery from the materials to be used, to the best tools to be applied. Good instructions for stitches with excellent drawn images and black and white illustrations. Rich source of patterns, 484 pages.
Great resource on how to gold work embroidery. Plenty of black and white photographs and patterns, 64 pages.
38. Die tüchtige Hausfrau vol. 1, “The efficient Housewife” (1913) Steimann, Antonie, Süddeutsches Verlags-Institut
While I can't read German, the illustrations in this book are so good that it’s hard not to understand the demonstration. The book goes into great detail about garment construction, from about page 392 the focus is on embroidery, from eyelet or button-hole stitches to cutwork, to various canvas stitches, well-illustrated, 581 pages. Vol 2 primarily deals with cooking and recipes. Here is the link to Vol 2 if you are interested.
39. Embroidery (1909) Christie, Grace
A collection of articles on subjects connected with the study of fine needlework, including stitches, materials, methods of work, and designing, and history. Great illustrations and excellent colour plates, 241 pages.
40. Embroidery and Decorative Stitches, (1916) Woman's Institute of Decorative Arts and Science.
A Student's Guide to hand embroidery covering materials to be used and basic stitches to be employed. Well illustrated, 104 pages.
41. Embroidery and Tapestry Weaving, (1912) Grace Christie
An excellent resource for embroidery, pattern designing, stitches, canvas work, methods of work, embroidery with gold and silver threads and lettering. 292 pages. The rest of the book covers tapestry weaving and its technique, total number of pages 402.
42. Embroidery hints: Fall and Winter (1910), New York Embroidery House
Drawn embroidery patterns from table linens to baby bonnets, 60 pages.
43. Embroidery Patterns, (1740), Clark Institute Library
Black and white graphed designs for embroidery, needlepoint and cross stitch patterns, 31 pages.
44. Embroidery silks, (1900) Brainerd & Armstrong Co.
A handy little book about embroidery skills related to using silk threads. Good illustrations and clear pictures, 50 pages.
45. Encyclopedia of Needlework, Thérèse de Dillmont
Don't open this unless you can spend a couple of hours snooping through the book. The book is an excellent resource for single and cut open-work, net and damask stitches, white embroidery, flat stitch and gold embroidery, tapestry and linen embroidery, tatting, macramé, nettings, Iris lace, laces of different kinds, miscellaneous fancy work and practical directions, 569 pages.
46. Guide to Needlework. (1876) Symonds, J. Henry
Don't let the publishing date discourage you. The book contains lots of illustrated stitches and explanations with great photos of finished work. Basic embroidery and canvas work stitches are included as well as basics of garment construction techniques, 140 pages.
47. Handbook of Embroidery, (1880) L. Higgin
The book covers everything from the implements and tools used in “modern” embroidery, to textile fabrics used as grounds for embroidery, to basic stitched, and stitches used in framed embroidery with good schematic diagrams and some colour plates, 105 pages
48. How to Work Embroidery Stitches, (1909), Cartier-Bresson, Mme.
Great illustrations of white work and cut work embroidery. A practical method with 69 illustrations, 60 pages.
49. I singolari e nuovi disegni per lavori di bianchería – (1909) “Unique and new designs for works on linen” Vinciolo, Federico de, Istituto Italiano d'Arti Grafiche.
Well-illustrated designs rendered on black and white charts, also suitable for crochet or cross-stitch patterns, 156 pages.
50. Kleinasiatische stickereien, (1911) “Kleinasiatische Embroidery” Dietrich, Bernhard, Dr. Dietrich selbstverlag
Unique embroidery designs, well photographed and some colour plates. 152 pages.
51. La vera perfezione del disegno per punti e recami, (1909) Ostaus, Giovanni, Istituto italiano d'arti grafiche, Italian translation: The true perfection of design for points and Recami
Clear easy to follow patterns. Many are easily adaptable for embroidery or needlepoint, 110 pages.
52. Lady's work for pleasure and profit, (1894), Heron, Addie E.
Now this is a book I can spend hours reading. The book covers all aspects of needlework from the use of various tools, threads and designs, the transferring of patterns, different embroidery stitches, their application and shading. The art of flat embroidery, church and bullion embroidery, Berlin embroidery, raised embroidery, drawn work, point lace, knitting and crocheting, etc., are also well represented with excellent illustrations, 496 pages.
53. Le Filet brodé, (1910) “Embroidered Net”, Dillmont, Thérèse de, Dollfus-Mieg & Cie
Some beautiful demonstration of how to do this type of embroidery. Quite a few designs and photographed in color and some of the graphed patterns could easily be adapted to needlepoint or cross-stich patterns, 82 pages.
54. Manual of needlework. (1883), Patten, Joseph, L. Mrs.
Teaches how to do Kensington, applique, cretonne, roman, cross-stitch, outline and other embroideries, 132 pages.
55. Motifs de broderie copte v. 1, Coptic Embroidery Patterns (1900) Dillmont, Thérèse de
An excellent 26 page collection of patterns (black and white), some full page, with detailed stitching instruction, 40 pages.
56. Motifs de broderie copte v. 2, Coptic Embroidery Patterns (1900) Dillmont, Thérèse de
Continues from V. 1 with an additional 30 pages of patterns with one color plate.
57. Motifs de broderie copte v. 3, Coptic Embroidery Patterns (1900) Dillmont, Thérèse de
Continued from Vol 2. with an emphasis on the border and overall design patterns, 80 pages.
58. Motifs for embroideries ser. 6 (1919) Dillmont, Thérèse de, Th. de Dillmont,
20 pages of beautifully demonstrated embroidery design patterns, all in color.
59. Motifs pour broderies ser. 1, Designs for Embroideries (1922) Dillmont, Thérèse de
An excellent source for embroidery designs, including ones for canvas, stitches with colour plates and proper directions. The book also contains full page drawings of designs that can easily be printed, 110 pages.
60. Muster altitalienischer Leinenstickrei, (1881) “Patterns of Old Italian Linen Embroidery”, Lipperheide, Frieda, and Franz Lipperheide
Pictures speak a thousand words, is certainly true in this case. The book is full of wonderful designs, full size patterns and good stitching instructions that can be asily adapted to other forms of needlework, 92 pages.
61. Muster altitalienischer Leinenstickrei v. 2, (1881) “Patterns of Old Italian Linen Embroidery”
Same as above, with 92 additional pages of designs and patterns.
62. Needlecraft, (1911), Archer, Effie Archer
Include chapters on: stenciling, simple embroidery stitches, smocking, couching, shadow work, Turkish stitch, buttonholing, Roman cutwork, satin stitch, eyelets and French knots, long and short stitch, Kensington embroidery, Hardanger embroidery, applique on linen and other materials, Hebedo embroidery, hem stitching and easy lace stitches, and simple crochet and knitting stitches, 434 pages.
63. Needlework Through The Ages, (1928) Antrobus, Mary Symonds, Preece, Louisa
Its development in decorative art, with particular regard to its inspirational relationship with other methods of craftsmanship, 876 pages
64. Old English embroidery, (1894), St. Aubyn, Alan; Marshall, Hugh
Excellent chapters on the Anglo-Saxon period, The order of chivalry of heraldry, materials employed in Medieval embroidery, Domestic embroidery of the Middle Ages, Lancastrian and Tudor work, embroidery on the stump, Jacobean work, the symbolism of Medieval embroidery and the vestments of St Thomas Becket, 198 pages.
65. Osztyák himzések, (1921) “ Osztyák (Russian) Embroidery “ Magyar Nemzeti Múzeum
Wonderful color illustration of Osztyák (Russian, Siberian) embroidery patterns, 63 pages.
66. Patterns for needlework. (1882), Pattern Publishing Co
Including the various kinds of embroidery, lacework, etc., with diagrams showing the methods of making the various stitches, 32 pages.
67. Points d'anciennes broderies anglaises, (1909) Pesel, Louisa F. Edition Atar
A rare treasure of a colour portfolio of stitches worked on cloth, showing the stitches from both the right side of the fabric, and the wrong side of the fabric, 64 pages
68. Samplers and Tapestry Embroideries, (1913), Marcus Bourne Huish
The book is sectioned into three parts. Part one reviews the historical development of samplers, Part two deals with embroideries in the manner of tapestry pictures, and Part three covers stitchery of embroideries in imitation of tapestry, and stitchery of samplers, with a note of their materials including cut and drawn work, alphabet stitches and tent and cross stitches. The book contains 24 colour plates and 77 illustrations, 173 pages.
69. School needlework, (1893), Hapgood, Olive C
A course of study in sewing designed for use in schools, excellent illustrations, 188 pages.
70. Stitch Patterns & Designs for Embroidery, (1929) Brandon-Jones, Anne, Peoria, III.
Provides ana good introduction for methods, gauges, stitches, colours and materials to be used in the design of embroidery with some good plates and illustrations, 58 pages.
71. The cult of the needle,(1915) Klickmann Flora ec.New York
A how to resource for making Hungarian embroidery, fringes, lessons in netting, punched work, Berlin wool work, Catalan and Baro embroidery, Innishmacsaint and, Reticella lace squres, Amager, Hardanger and Bulgarian embroidery, Limerick Tambour lace and Bohemian Lace, and braid appliqués on net. Illustrated with black and white photography,132 pages.
72. The dictionary of needlework Vol. 1: (1882), Caulfeild, S. F. A. (Sophia Frances Anne)
An encyclopedia of artistic, plain, and fancy needlework. Dealing fully with the details of all the stitches employed, the method of working, the materials used, the meaning of technical terms, and, where necessary, tracing the origin and history of the various works described. Illustrated with upwards of 800 wood engravings, and coloured plates. Plain sewing, textiles, dressmaking, appliances, and terms, with lots of illustrations, 306 pages.
73. The dictionary of needlework Vol. 2, (1885)
Continuation of the above, 180 pages.
74. The dictionary of needlework Vol. 3, (1885)
Continuation of the above, 178 pages.
75. The dictionary of needlework, Vol. 4, (1885)
Continuation of the above, 174 pages.
76. The dictionary of needlework, Vol. 5, (1885)
Continuation of the above, 176 pages.
77. The dictionary of needlework, Vol. 6, (1890)
Continuation of the above, 170 pages.
78. The embroiderer's book of design, (1891) Delamotte, F. (Freeman); Delamotte, F
An excellent collection of monograms and letterings with color illustrations, 40 pages.
79. The embroidery guide, (1910), Marvin, Helen
Unusual patterns for sofa pillow design, three charming eyelet designs, some beautiful French embroidery, artistic work bag, oval between-meals centerpiece, a pincushion from Paris, around between-meals centerpiece, letters for household linens and feathered and kindred stitches, 34 pages.
80. The handbook of needlework, (1842), Lambert, Miss
22 chapters on needlework, from tapestries, materials used like wool, silk, gold and silver, chenille, braid, canvas, Berlin patterns, drawing patterns for embroidery, braiding etc., Implements used, framing work, stitches, embroidery, canvas work, crochet, knitting, netting, braiding and applique, beadwork, needlework of the English Queen and Princesses is also covered, 292 pages.
81. The ladies' Handbook of needlework, (1879), Shillito, John, & co., Cincinnati, pub.
An excellent collection of about 30 needlework patterns, including patterns for alphabets and border designs, 50 pages.
82. The Ladies' Work-Table, (1884), Anonymous
Includes chapters on: Materials and Implements for Working, Plain Needlework – Explanation of Stitches, Instructions and Preparation of House Linens, Fancy Needlework – Explanation of Patterns, Instructions in Embroidery, Preparation of Frames, Knitting, Netting, Crochet and Tatting, few demonstrations with picture, 155 pages.
83. The Lady's Album of Fancy Work, (1850), Unknown,
A fine collection of embroidery, knitting and crochet patterns some with color illustration, 80 pages.
84. The needle at home. (1885), Fromme, Stella Logrande.
A complete instructor in all branches of plain and fancy needlework, good illustrations, 68 pages.
85. The needleworkers' guide without a teacher, (1895), Potts, A. P.
Good instruction for basic embroidery stitches with full-page patterns, 56 pages.
86. The Priscilla Needlework Book for how to make cut work, point and Battenburg lace and silk embroidery, 48 pages.
87. The Priscilla Needlework book, (1908), [Priscilla publishing company, Boston
Great collection of designs and patterns for needlework, including eyelet work, 84 pages.
88. The work box and needle, (1886)
Rules and directions for netting, knitting, tatting, Berlin and lace work. No illustration but good description of how to work various patterns, 88 pages.
89. Weldon's flower embroidery, (1913) Weldon, Ltd, Amalgamated Press
A beautiful small book with good stitch instructions, design samples, color plates for flowers, birds and butterflies, 32 pages.
90. Jacobean crewel work and traditional designs, (1900), by Penelope
Excellent color plates of Jacobean, crewel embroidery along with well-illustrated stitching diagrams, 52 pages.
91. Jacobean Embroidery: Its Forms and Fillings, Including Late Tudor, (1912), Fitzwilliam et al.
Excellent source of well-illustrated Jacobean and Late Tudor style embroidery patterns along with some colour plates, about 40 pages
92. Old and new original designs in tatting (1919), Hees, Marie A. [from old catalog]
A manual of selected edges, insertions and articles suitable for luncheon sets, yolks, curtains, handkerchiefs, towels, medallions, piano scarfs, cushions. Excellent illustrations of stitches and patterns, 32 pages.
93. The new tatting of to-day,(1916) Hauck, Louise S. [from old catalog]
Well illustrated methods for tatting and a good number of designs, 24 pages.
94. The Priscilla Tatting Book (1909) De Witt, Jessie M. [from old catalo
Excellent coverage of tatting patterns, how to work them, the materials to be used with numerous excellent illustrations and photographs, 68 pages.
95. The Rundall book of edgings, medallions, insertions and tatting (1915), Rundall, Myrtle Volora,
As the title indicates, a great resource for edgings and insertion for tatting, well illustrated, with plenty of good quality black and white photography, 28 pages.
Your hard to find vintage needlework books online just been made easier. Hope you found this 95 Free Guide to Needlework Books Online useful and informative.
If you have ever wondered how you are going to use up all those leftover yarns in your stash, I hope this guide will inspired you to take action.
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