The absolute want of any comprehensive book on needlework—such an one as contains both verbal and pictorial descriptions of everything included under the name of needlework—has led me to put into the serviceable form of an Encyclopedia, all the knowledge and experience, which years of unceasing study and practice have enabled me to accumulate on the subject, with the hope that diligent female workers of all ages, may be able, by its means to instruct themselves in every branch of plain and fancy needlework.
All the patterns given, even the most insignificant, were worked afresh for the purpose, and thus, not merely faithful representations, but also lucid and intelligible explanations of the same, are secured.
In order that my readers may have something besides the dull theory, the work is enlivened by a number of useful patterns, some new, some derived from the artistic productions of such countries and epochs as have become famous by special excellence in the domain of needlework.
Though, at first sight, the reproduction of many of these patterns may seem to present insuperable difficulties, they will, after a careful study of the text, and exact attention to the directions given, prove easy to carry out.
Many of these interesting designs are drawn from private collections, whose owners, with great kindness, placed their treasures at my disposal, to copy and borrow from at discretion, for which I desire to take the present opportunity, of tendering them my warmest thanks.
The choice of colours and material—a difficult matter to many—my readers will find rendered comparatively easy to them by the notes affixed to the illustrations; and I may point out, that most of the patterns were worked with D.M.C cottons, which enjoy the well-earned reputation of being, the very best of their kind, in the market of the world.
Experience has convinced me that, in many instances, these cottons may with advantage take the place of wool, linen thread, and even silk.
If this work meet with indulgent judges, and prove really useful, I shall find ample reward in that fact for the trouble and difficulties that have unavoidably attended its completion.
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