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Mary Thomas’s Dictionary of Embroidery Stitches by Jan Eaton

  • Publisher: Search Press
  • Edition: BC Paperback flexibinding with flaps
  • Publication: 21 December 2018
  • ISBN 13/EAN: 9781782216438
  • Stock: 50+
  • Carton Qty: N/A
  • Size: 204x260 mm
  • Illustrations: 800
  • Pages: 208
  • RRP Price: £14.99
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This classic book has been the go-to embroidery reference work since it was first published in 1934, owing to its clear instructions and huge library of stitches.

It includes full illustrated instructions for over 400 embroidery stitches, ranging from simple border and outline stitches, to filling stitches, canvas stitches and pulled fabric stitches. Scattered throughout are dozens of inspirational embroideries to show the stitches in use.

This detailed guide is ideal for those starting out with needlework as well as more accomplished embroiderers looking for inspiration for different stitches and techniques. This new, redesigned edition includes the internationally renowned embroiderer Jan Eaton’s revisions to the original text, and includes a preface by famed embroiderer Mary Corbet.

Table of Contents

Introduction 6

Outline Stitches 10

Border Stitches 24

Composite Band Stitches 52

Isolated Stitches 66

Open Filling Stitches 80

Solid Filling Stitches 96

Detached Filling Stitches 108

Straight and Slanted Canvas Stitches 118

Crossed Canvas Stitches 132

Composite Canvas Stitches 150

Insertion Stitches 164

Edging Stitches 170

Cut and Drawn Stitches 178

Pulled Fabric Stitches 186

Index 208

About Jan Eaton

Jan Eaton is known internationally for her speciality in needlecraft and textile designs. Since finishing her training at Goldsmiths College in London, Jan has worked as a freelance designer showcasing her embroidery, crochet, knitting, and textile painting designs in various UK and European magazines. Jan has written more than 10 needlecraft books and lives in Hove, East Sussex.


This is a revised and updated (by Jan Eaton) edition of the classic guide, originally published in 1934. Marys book was the original embroidery dictionary, the one that inspired the many to follow. How does it stand up today?

Like every book that is deservedly called a classic it stands up very well. There are over 400 stitches in here, all with clear, easy to follow diagrams and in many cases, photographs of a worked sample. Each stitch also has a short description which contains information about its origin if known, use, tips for working and anything else of note. Stitches are grouped according to their use in a design, so there are chapters for isolated stitches, borders, outlines, various types of fillings, different types of stitch for canvas, pulled fabric, cut-work and more. This is how I always look for stitches when I am designing a project so appreciate this way of organising. At the beginning there is a very short section showing types of thread and fabric available for hand embroidery plus a few tips for beginners. At the back is an index, and throughout the book quite a few examples of finished work. It does not matter what level embroiderer you are, a book like this is invaluable and I wouldnt be without a stitch dictionary. I have quite a few, but this is probably the best and also inspired most of the others.

Recommended for anybody who wants to learn (or is already adept at) embroidery.

SEW Region Magazine (December 2019)

A must have for all new embroiderers.

Embroiderers Guild

This is a must have book whether you are new to embroidery or an experienced embroidery.

It has dedicated chapters on types of Stitches: filling Stitches, pulled thread Stitches etc. Many stitches will be familiar to an embroiderer but alongside that this book is filled with little known Stitches with excellent illustrations and instructions opening up new possibilities for creativity.

Beside each stitch is the type of thread and fabric to use for the best results and in some cases offer alternative suggestions. Simple easy to follow diagrams for each stitch. Images are clear and a good size.

Alternative names for Stitches are also included. This is much more than a stitch dictionary it is also full of interesting snippets about the Stitches. Beautiful practical and a joy to read.

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