Hardanger is an elegant embroidery style that developed in Norway. It is easily identified by its grid design and open spaces filled with lacy filling stitches.
It is traditionally stitched with white thread on white fabric, but modern embroiderers experiment with many different colour combinations. A nice way to add colour is to use variegated thread.
Only a few basic materials are required to do this intricate stitching.
Hardanger is often stitched on a 22-count even-weave count fabric similar to Aida cloth, appropriately named “hardanger”. 22-count means that there are 22 threads per inch.
The other choice for hardanger is linen. Linen usually has more than 22 threads per inch, so the resulting embroidery will be smaller.
The most popular thread choice for hardanger is perle cotton. It is a non-divisible thread that comes in different weights and many different colours.
Two sizes are required for stitching hardanger designs. A heavier thread is used for the kloster blocks and blanket stitches, and a lighter thread is used for the woven bars and filling stitches.
Besides fabric and thread, only the basic embroidery tools are required – needle, hoop and scissors.
These tutorials will take you through all the steps of stitching hardanger. This basic project is a perfect warm up for more complex designs.
Kloster blocks are the foundation of any hardanger design.
Blanket stitch is a common border. It allows the embroidery to be cut out of the background fabric.
Eyelets are an embellishment that adds to the lacy effect. Cutting and removing threads makes spaces that can be filled with needle weaving and filling stitches.
Woven bars and filling stitches embellish the section between the kloster blocks.
Once you have mastered hardanger basics, you can use it in many different projects. Here are a few ideas.
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designer, teacher, speaker
Elizabeth enjoys doing all types of sewing and needlework and teaching others new techniques. Find out how to take a course or workshop.