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Broderie Anglaise Embroidery

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Borderie Anglais is a whitework hand embroidery which is very similar to cutwork embroidery. The basis of this embroidery work is the eyelet stitch.In this work beautiful designs of flowers, leaves and stems are done almost entirely in eyelets and ladders

The work has delicate eyelets and ladders which are done in satin stitches, overcasting, buttonholing, needleweaving and picots.Other surface embroidery is incorporated along with the Borderie Anglais work.

Now you do not see hand Borderie Anglais work as much as the machine made one.

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It is supposed to have originated in the Soviet region as a peasant embroidery work and later became popular in England.

Nowadays this work is also known as English work. Other names like Swiss work are also used. I have heard this work as Hakoba work for a long time, since when, as a kid almost all my dresses had Hakoba trims. In South Africa a similar work is known as Madeira work

This work can look very similar to needle lace work when done delicately and intricately. It is mostly used to decorate linen, nighwear and baby dresses

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How to do the Borderie Anglais work

The flowers and leaves are all done the same way that eyelets are done. Checkout this post on eyelet stitches to know how to make them. First running stitch is worked around the area of the hole and then the holes are made with small awls /stilettos and then the area is overcast .

You can make small ladders that we see often in this work the same way that the eyelets are done. The stitches are very delicate and small and requires a lot of patience and concentration to finish.

For making bigger ladders the fabric is cut away from between the stitches the same way that we do for cutwork.The difference between cutwork and Border Anglais is that in Border Anglais the fabric is cut first before overcasting is done.

Related posts : Embroidery stitches for edges; Embroidery thread types; Embroidery stitches for flowers

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Author: Sarina Tariq
Hi, I love sewing, fabric, fashion, embroidery, doing easy DIY projects and then writing about them. Hope you have fun learning from sewguide as much as I do. If you find any mistakes here, please point it out in the comments.
2 thoughts on “Broderie Anglaise Embroidery”
  1. Katherine
    This may look hand done–and it was hand done a very long time ago—but it has been made by machine since around 1830. The vast majority if broderie anglaise trim found on antique dresses and petticoats was made on these machines. You can tell by looking at the back side: the threads that go from one motif (leaf, flower, etc) to the next are all in exactly the same spot on each motif—the same point of every leaf without fail, the end of the same flower petal without fail, every single time. There are old photos somewhere online of these machines, if you want to research them. I saw some years ago but didn’t save them. Back then I was sure this stuff was handmade, then a friend explained how to tell if it wasn’t. Reply
    • Sarina

      Hi Katherine
      Thanks for reading and providing the extra info. Very interesting

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