Sometimes metallic threads or coloured threads are used embroidery books free download pdf accents. Historically it was done on plain weave fabric. Modern stitchers often use even weave fabric made especially for counted thread work.
In the earliest blackwork, counted stitches are worked to make a geometric or small floral pattern. These are frequently not counted thread work and are outlined with stem stitch, and the outlined patterns are filled with geometric counted designs. This style of blackwork imitates etchings or woodcuts. Spain, and portraits of the later 15th and early 16th centuries show black embroidery or other trim on Spanish chemises. Black embroidery was known in England before 1500.
Alison: “Of white, too, was the dainty smock she wore, embroidered at the collar all about with coal-black silk, alike within and out. Historic blackwork embroidery is rare to find well-preserved, as the iron-based dye used was corrosive to the thread, and there are currently no conservation techniques that can stop the decay. Black embroidery silk from outside England, such as Spain, contained less iron in the black dye and so blackwork worked using non-English silk tends to survive in better condition. Blackwork embroidery on both an outer and inner collar. Blackwork embroidery in Holbein stitch. Blackwork sleeves with large free-stitched flowers filled with geometric patterns, under sheer linen oversleeves, and a counted Blackwork forepart under her skirt. English Blackwork cushion cover, late 16th century.