Berlin Wool Work Charts

Berlin wool work chart, c. 1850. Berlin wool work chart, c. 1850. TRC collection.

Berlin wool work charts are pre-printed charts with a wide range of designs, which were initially made in the first half of the nineteenth century in Berlin (hence their name) and later copied by printers in many countries. This type of chart was used for Berlin wool work, a form of canvas embroidery that was popular in many countries in the nineteenth century.

Grids were printed on paper or card and then designs were hand painted onto the grids following a pre-determined pattern. Later these designs were machine printed. These pre-printed patterns made it easier for embroiderers to work a wide range of designs. The advent of these charts and style of embroidery also saw developments in a wide range of canvases, materials such as aida, and related techniques such as tramming. The influence of Berlin wool work and indeed many designs can still be found at the beginning of the twenty-first century in commercial canvas embroidery kits.

See also the digital TRC exhibition, Berlin Work Charts (TRC, Leiden, 2018).



Last modified on Wednesday, 25 April 2018 07:49
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