Retini di fondo (Pulled Thread Work) is useful for learning how to handle the fabric: the threads must pass through warp and weft following well-defined patterns. This is why for beginners I suggest simpler work in "squares"; I then proceed to projects in round or oval areas, and later more complicated shapes. The manual includes diagrams and scans of finished projects and detailed explanations of working techniques.
A special section entitled "School of Stitches" illustrates stitches which are not pulled threads, but are needed for the embroidery projects outlined in the book.
Some pulled thread projects are easy, and these are extensively described and illustrated in the book (cushions, lampshades etc). But once you know the techniques you can also progress to "white work", which was particularly popular in the 19th century for extremely elegant embroidering of sheets, curtains and tablecloths.
My series of manuals, under the title "The Antique (...embroidery stitches)", began in October 2004 with the first edition of 64 pages on Retini di fondo (Pulled Thread Work).
The book has seven sections, each with a brief introduction. The introductions appeared solely in Italian until the fourth edition (January 2010), when they were translated into French and English like the rest of the book, which had instructions in all three languages from the outset. Other editions followed, two of which were identical in content to the first, in August 2005 (second edition) and January 2008 (third edition).
The fourth edition, in 2010 (the version currently available) was revised and supplemented, and the introductions were translated, as mentioned above; growing to 72 pages.
The manual contains detailed description of the Album di Tela range of samplers from my School (in this instance on the subject of "pulled thread work"), through which I describe the various embroidery techniques I use; two pulled thread applications for cushions with initials at the centre (one a B and the other an E); cats, teddy bears and hearts (baby's layette); a basket of fruit (from an original Liberty style design, for embroidering a lampshade or a cushion) the School of Stitches, where I illustrate the main stitches used in the book and give advice on how to get a "clean" reverse side; and a final page with tasteful initials which are simply designed, legible and easily worked.
Vol. 1 Retini di fondo (Pulled Thread Work) - € 20
unique edition in Italian-French-English