Posted by: Jocelyn | July 6, 2009

Candelwicking without the candle. Or the wick.

Back on my whitework sampler.
So often, candlewicking is seen as simply french knots outlining shapes and designs, but where is the tufting that was seen previously? Little tufts of thread, with the loops cut to produce love fluffy bits.

I used to have a candlewick bedspread back when I was a cute wee thing (it was orange, and I loved it!) and what fun it was to pull out some of the tufts. Mum was NOT pleased.

So when I decided to include candlewicking, it had, of course, to include tufts. I suspect I may have packed my tufts too much. Or maybe not – who knows? I’m thinking this section looks a little sparse so I might put a couple of eyelets into the blank V spaces. I shall think about that.

Colbert variation
Next some Colbert embroidery. Well, to cover myself, I shall call it a variant of Colbert as there seems to be some choice over exactly what Colbert embroidery is. Some websites say it is a shape heavily outlined, and the background filled with counted embroidery; while others say the shapes should be filled with pulled thread.

Either way, it seems to be descended from the same work as Assisi embroidery, which uses cross-stitch for the background, and doesn’t outline so heavily.

I think that strictly speaking Colbert work is usually quite colourful, so I’m not sure how it ended up in my whitework sampler. Other than that I had a space to fill and I liked the sound of it. 🙂


  1. snap! i had an organge candlewick bedspread too. rather threadbare in patches. there was something so satifying about pulling out the tufts of thread.
    i have never heard of Colbert work before – it suits the whitework style. now i’ll have to waste lots more of my ‘valuable’ time googling and following links finding out more about it instead of washing the breaksfast dishes 🙂

  2. I have also been looking at Colbert and Naverson embroidery. First time I heard about it was here. If anyone has any inforfation or patterns/designs please contact me on

    Many thanks………….Louise

  3. I want to try a candlewicking project, but where did you buy the thread so that it fluffs into a tuft? Do you have anymore posts on candlewicking? I want more information on cut and uncut candlewicking. There’s not many sources to get help. Thanks for the wonderful post!

    • Hi
      Gosh, I just found that I hadn’t responded to a question you left on my blog! I’m so sorry.
      I just used plain old DMC Perle 5 thread for my candlewicking, and fluffed out the ends. It wouldn’t stand up to much wear or tear, but as my sampler is just for hanging on the wall I think it should be fine. But you’re right, there is not much around about candlewicking, is there! I don’t think that what I did is really true candlewicking, but I am of the opinion that if is gives the desired effect, that’s good enough for me LOL.

  4. […] photo credit pins and needles […]

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