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10 Toledo work

This design I found in a Dutch monthly from 1967. They said it was "Toledo work". , that's to say:

-the work is "voided", the background is filled in, not the motifs.
-in cross stitch
-in one color
- with the curiosity that between the cross stitches one thread of the cloth is left free.
- there are no outlines round the motifs.

I could not find any information about "Toledo embroidery" on the internet.


Below you can see a drawing of the circular design. Eight lions with a inside and an outside border. The design measures 226x226 stitches. On the photograph it is embroidered over 3 threads on cloth with 10 threads per centimeter. Because there is one thread between the cross stitches, there are two and a half crosses per centimeter. and the design will be about 90 centimeter The embroidery is executed in a dark gray, but of course other colors are possible, but please don't use sweet colors.

conceivable alternatives
toledo borduurwerk ontwerp

Embroider the crosses without space in between. It will give a somewhat heavier result.

It's also possible to embroider the contours of the motifs in Holbein stitch, Use a contrasting color and use the darkest of the two color for the outlining of the motifs.

Working directions and working drawings


  • For a cloth for a round table with a diameter of 90 centimeter a linen or a cotton fabric 120x 120 centimeter or a bit larger, countable, with 10 threads per centimeter.
  • about 350 meter embroidery floss. If you use the floss with 6 strands and using 3 strands in the needle you will need about 20 skeins. Naturally, you can use other floss with the thickness of about 3 strands, for instance DMC no 16 floss.
  • Needle with a blunt point.

    Protect the borders of the cloth from fraying Find the center and the middles of the borders of the cloth by folding the cloth double twice. Go, using stitches over 4 threads from one site of the cloth to the other in both directions and mark 47 stitches, then 11 then 44 and again 11 stitches from the center. ( see drawing) Doing this gives you a guide when you are going to embroider and it gives you also the possibility to control if the design keeps inside the border of the cloth.

All cross stitches are worked over three treads of the fabric.


Start with embroidering the inside border, then the part with the pattern and finally the outside border. The working drawings shows a quarter of the design. The contours of the motifs you see in the working drawing you don't embroider. Not all the cross stitches are indicated, only those you need for working easily. The easiest way to embroider the cross stitches is doing it in rows. For a good explanation see Assisi embroidery, working method, but keep in mind that, different from Assisi work there is one thread of the fiber between every cross stitch.

working drawings

Copyright©jos hendriks, 2005-2010