99% of orders dispatched within 24hrs, delivery times may vary.

Adding item to the basket

× Item added

This item has been added to your basket.

Proceed to checkout
US Flag Australian Flag
Search the site...

Look inside Click here for extra content on Bookmarked Hub
  • Publisher: Search Press
  • Edition: BC Paperback flexibinding with flaps
  • Publication: 06 September 2022
  • ISBN 13/EAN: 9781782217022
  • Stock: 50+
  • Size: 216x280 mm
  • Illustrations: 600
  • Pages: 192
  • RRP: £19.99
  • Series: RSN series
Download jacket image

RSN: Fine Whitework


Techniques, projects & pure inspiration by Jenny Adin-Christie

Add to Basket
Book Description

Learn the art of fine whitework in this informative, instructional guide from the Royal School of Needlework.

The Royal School of Needlework (RSN) is recognized internationally as a centre of excellence for embroidery. Fine Whitework is the fifth title in a series of books showcasing the RSN’s techniques and contemporary flair as it celebrates its 150th anniversary in 2022.

Author Jenny Adin-Christie is an expert tutor with the RSN and she provides the reader with a detailed exploration of the numerous techniques involved in fine whitework, and two projects of varied complexity, as well as sharing images and details of historical whitework and the inspiring finished pieces created by the RSN itself.

The book features an introduction to the RSN and its prestigious heritage. It reveals the history and context of whitework and explains fine whitework as a specialist field; it explores the materials and tools that are used, and provides clear, highly illustrated instructions that will allow the reader to achieve their own stunning results.

In addition, there are numerous examples of Jenny’s own fine whitework pieces and items from her personal collection, as well as rare antique pieces and the work of other embroiderers that showcase the diversity of whitework design in both a traditional and contemporary context.

Table of Contents

The Royal School of Needlework, Introduction to fine whitework, The history of fine whitework, A personal history, Materials and tools, Mounting the completed embroidery, Design, The tonal and textural scale of whitework, Order of work, Essential starting techniques

Sculptured techniques, Translucent techniques, Filigree techniques, Voided techniques, Fretted techniques

Project: Scabiosa button
Further inspiration

Project: Small Birds May Fly High fine whitework
Further inspiration

Taking it further, Glossary, Index

About the Author

About Jenny Adin-Christie

Jenny Adin-Christie is a professional, celebrated hand-embroidery artist, designer and tutor. Her work is grounded in the technical skills she honed as a graduate apprentice at the RSN, where she developed expertise in the working and restoration of fine whitework, metal thread work and raised (stumpwork) embroidery.

Jenny’s portfolio spans a huge range of commissions, including designing and managing the production of new altar frontals for Canterbury Cathedral; embroidery of the Jubilee Woolsack for the Royal Hospital, Chelsea; and playing a key role in the production of the applied lace panels for the famed wedding dress of HRH the Duchess of Cambridge.

Jenny now pursues a freelance career working to commission, designing embroidery kits and teaching from her home studio in Surrey, UK, as well as travelling to deliver workshops across the globe. In 2022, Jenny became a Freeman of the City of London and a Liveryman of theWorshipful Company of Broderers.

Visit her website jennyadin-christieembroidery.com


Mary Corbet's Needle 'n Thread

This book is so beautifully thorough that I could pretty much eliminate every other book I own on this type of whitework embroidery, thereby saving quite a bit of shelf space! Of course, I wont do that. I have several books on whitework that I very much appreciate and use.

But wow! Jenny Adin-Christies new book, Fine Whitework, is a barn burner from cover to cover. I think we are super fortunate to have this book available, written by a master embroiderer who has such a profound artistic sense and such notable teaching skills. It seems to me that only Jenny Adin-Christie could have written this book and pulled off such a masterpiece that makes traditional fine whitework accessible to todays embroiderer.


The whitework in this book draws on an array of techniques from surface embroidery, to needle lace, Desden work, Ayshire whitework, to the various embroidered laces of the nineteenth century so many needlework traditions! to bring to life multi-faceted designs through texture and tonal contrast. Its the texture, the contrast, the multiple layers, the variations in weight and depth, in airiness and heaviness, that enliven this type of fine whitework embroidery and make it so captivatingly beautiful. The techniques youll learn in this book are not restricted to whitework alone, though. They can carry over into innumerable embroidery pursuits.

The fact is, if youre good at this kind of whitework, the embroidery world is pretty much your proverbial oyster. You can do anything!

The book begins with an introduction to the Royal School of Needlework, where Jenny found her needlework career, followed by an introduction to and a history of whitework, and then it launches into instruction.

First, Jenny covers materials and tools. Heres where youll find information on fabrics for fine whitework, with explanations of the different fibers, weaves, weights, and so forth. Youll learn about the threads that are used in traditional whitework. And youll explore tools that make the embroiderers work possible, easier, or more efficient. Besides the small tools, Jenny shows us different types of embroidery hoops and frames and how to prepare and use them.

Then, we move along to design inspiration. The author provides an array of advice on where to look for inspiration and how to consider what you are seeing in the light of whitework. She talks about the difference between solid and open space in designing whitework, teaching us how to consider the open spaces carefully in order to achieve a balanced design that makes sense to the viewer.

Then, she takes us through getting the design down on paper and working it out until we are satisfied with it. Her advice here is invaluable when it comes to the whole concept of designing. This section is gold.

Possibly my favorite pages in the preliminaries: the tonal scale of fine whitework from the whitest areas to the open, airy areas that become negative space. This section is such a great visual tool for helping the reader to make sense of the way the eye and the mind see and interpret whitework. I also love the section on the order of work!


Then, theres gobs of information on transferring the design in a number of different ways. And theres a bit on working a preparatory stitch sampler, too, to hone techniques before applying them to your main project.

Then, we get into techniques. This part of the book launches into the detailed instructional content, and its divided into six sections: essential starting techniques, sculptured techniques, translucent techniques, filigree techniques, fretted techniques (fretted is such a great word), and voided techniques. The instructions are offered in easy-to-understand diagrams in step-by-step photos along with plenty of explanatory text, with helpful tips along the way. The text is readable and the explanations, diagrams, and photo instructions are all clear, precise, and eminently accessible.

Oh my goodness! There are So Many Techniques in this book! Its mind-boggling how much effort must have gone into creating such an organized and clear instructional manual!

After all the instructional techniques, we are presented with two projects to put our learning into practice. You might be tempted to say, Only two projects?, but I assure you, the second project is itself a masterclass in fine whitework, incorporating the equivalent of about eight projects when you consider the techniques involved. Nevertheless, there are two other projects that go along with this book, bringing the total to four projects. Ill talk about these two extra projects below.

The first project is a small piece with the (sorry, Jenny) unfortunate name of Scabiosa, after the unfortunately-named scabiosa flower. Such pretty flowers, for such a name! (No doubt it comes from the Latin scabiosus, which means itchy.) But the project is lovely! It is a small roundel incorporating multiple layers and techniques. Think of it as the taster project.

After providing us with materials lists and design, Jenny takes us step-by-step through the project, from beginning to end, in a thorough manner that ensures a successful completion. After the project is completed, youll find these variation pieces.

After the first project, were presented with a whole section of further inspiration gorgeous photos of the work of Jennys students. Its a lovely gallery of inventive and beautiful pieces. Then, we have the second project in the book, called Small Birds May Fly High and its a stunner. Again, we are taken step-by-meticulous-step through this project, with over 53 pages of instruction.

Theres no detail not covered here, even to some specialty framing techniques for this type of multi-layered piece. The book ends with pages of templates for the projects and the technique sampler elements.

I really dont know what else to say about this book, aside from: get it. If you have any interest in this type of embroidery, if it inspires you, if you even just want to learn some of the techniques to apply to different types of embroidery, youre going to learn well from this book. Jenny doesnt leave you guessing on anything shes an expert at every level. This comes across in her instruction, which is delivered in an accessible, genuine, and sincere voice throughout the book.

Its a Magnum Opus in every sense of the term. I think it will end up being the standard in whitework instructional books for years to come.

Add to Basket Printer friendly version

Customers who bought RSN: Fine Whitework, also bought...

Crewel Animal Portraits

Crewel Animal Portraits

By Hazel Blomkamp

Sashiko 365

Sashiko 365

By Susan Briscoe

Frisian Whitework

Frisian Whitework

By Yvette Stanton

You may also be interested in...

Hardanger Filling Stitches

By Yvette Stanton

Frisian Whitework

By Yvette Stanton

Pulled Thread Embroidery

By Marie-Hélène Jeanneau

We use cookies to personalise your experience and to analyse our traffic. Do you want to allow all cookies or view and change settings?