Women's Needlework from 19th Century

Mrs Isabella Beaton's "Book of Needlework" was first published in 1870. It consisted of descriptions and instructions, illustrated by 600 engravings of:

  • Tatting patterns
  • Crochet patterns
  • Knitting patterns
  • Netting patterns
  • Embroidery patterns
  • Point lace patterns
  • Guipure d'Art
  • Berlin work
  • Monograms
  • Initials and mongrams

Although Mrs Beaton's and other books and ladies' magazines were available with patterns and instructions, many women worked out their own patterns.

One finished example of this type of needlework in the Guild's Collection is a beaded purse showing the most intricate patterning. For a lot of this work, the beads had to be strung on the thread in reverse order to that in which they were knitted or crocheted.


  • Beaded purse