Redwork is an American form of embroidery developed in the 19th century. Turkey Red was the first colorfast dye, and red thread was widely used to embroider all manner of household goods, napkins, tea towels, pillow cases to name a few. At the turn of the century squares of preprinted fabric became available for a penny, often called penny squares, which were ready for stitching. These squares were embroidered then made into quilts. Redwork quilts were often made without batting, but lined and tied at the corners of the individual blocks. Redwork designs often depicted children, toys and animals, kitchenware and later state birds and flowers. The stem stitch, satin stitch and French knots were popular and easy to learn. Supplies were inexpensive and affordable for most. Patterns were often given away with magazine subscriptions or printed in magazines and newspapers. Women were encouraged to start a home business transferring these patterns for their friends. In the 1920s more dyes were colorfast leading to more colorful embroidery work, however Redwork remains popular today.

Benefits of Redwork

Redwork is a classic style of embroidery.

Tools and Supplies for Redwork

  • Red embroidery floss
  • Embroidery needles
  • Redwork embroidery designs
What I Wish I Knew When I Started Redwork

Today's embroidery threads are considered colorfast; however, when using red for your REDWORK, it doesn't hurt to soak your threads first so that no dye transfer occurs.

Redwork Resources