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digitizing embroidery

in Business / Franchisee by robertfcrocker on 03/14/2017



Redwork. Bluework. Greenwork. Or Any-Color Work
I think of Redwork as an embroidery design style, a line drawing in thread. And that style can be stitched with any color. You've heard the term Bluework? Bluework is just Redwork sewn with, any guesses? Anyone? That's right! Blue thread.
Unless you're recreating an antique look, you can use any thread color with Redwork designs, but to maintain the allure of the design, stitch it with just one color.

A Little Redwork History
Redwork originally applied to a very simple linear style of embroidery that became popular in the United States in the late 1800's when Turkish cotton processors developed a secret technique to make a red colorfast thread, creatively known as 'Turkey red'.

Until Turkey red came on the scene colored cotton thread would fade or bleed when washed and line dried and couldn't be used for everyday items such as towels, digitizing embroidery bed sheets and bedcovers.  
Embroidery with colorful silk thread could only be afforded by the wealthy. If the rest of us had anything embroidered it was with common white or natural cotton thread. Kind of boring.

Redwork designs were basic line drawings of children, birds, flowers, a water pump, and other objects found around every homestead at the time. The charming simplicity and affordability of Redwork was very popular among the immigrants and middle class of America, partly as a backlash against the excessive ornamentation of the Victorian culture of the time.

Redwork's popularity lasted until the 1920's when the development of synthetic, colorfast dyes opened up the world of color to embroidery, not just for the wealthy but for everyone. But no embroidery style has ever had, or continues to have, the grass roots appeal of Redwork.

The Resurgence of Redwork
What goes around, comes around, and the same is true of Redwork. With the advent of digitizing software, skilled digitizers, computerized embroidery machines and thousands of thread hues, colorful embroidery continues to reach new heights. Those same skills and technologies allow us to create Redwork designs that are more intricate than those of the past. But no matter how non-traditional or simple the pattern, there is something undeniably appealing and elegant about all Redwork designs. Because in the case of Redwork, less really is more.




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