For a generation or more, white on white embroidery, a symbol of purity and elegance, once so desirable, has been neglected by needlewoman and collector alike. The growing importance of antique costume, in the saleroom and among serious students, has aroused interest in the embroidered white accessories that were an indispensable part of the whole ensemble. This book gives a concise summary of the various types of white needlework likely to be encountered. It shows details of the techniques and gives a readable and authoritative account of such diverse types as Dresden work, tambourned muslin, Ayrshire embroidery, Mountmellick and Richelieu work, broderie anglaise, quilting and stringwork. A useful section shows how to identify machine embroidery and Indian whitework. Above all, it will be an inspiration to the modern needlewoman attracted by white on white embroidery.
The late Margaret Swain has written many books and articles as a result of her researches into the history of textiles. She did serve on the Council of the Embroiders' Guild and as Honorary Consultant to the National Museum of Scotland. In 1989 whe was awarded an MBE for services to the history of embroidery.