Beauty Is Mountmellick Embroidery

Detail of Mountmellick-work sachet. Irish, late 19th century. Cotton satin ground embroidered with cotton yarn. 43 x 54 cm.EG4067. Provided by Miss Brunskill. Photograph by Julia Hedgecoe.

Mountmellick is a popular form of embroidery also known as “whitework.” This decorative white stitch work was introduced in Ireland in the 19th century. Its name comes from the town in County Laois. This surface embroidery is done with white threads or fibers, is highly textured, and inspired by nature. Whitework has a matte finish and no lace. It is always floral and uses heavily knotted and padded stitching, which makes it extremely durable. To read the history and more details visit

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