The Dictionary of Needlework 1882 Facsimile Book

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You know the old cliche about not judging a book by its cover? Well, here is one of those books that, when you look at it, you should really keep that old proverb in mind; this book should definitely not be judged by its cover. The cover has a tacky bright yellow border with scrollwork and flourishes, and it looks like something that should have been sent to the recycle bin when the 1970’s ended. BUT it would be a mistake to think that! because the book’s contents are exquisite and amazing! You will be stunned and pleasantly surprised when you actually open the book up and look at the projects in it.

The book I am referring to is The Dictionary of Needlework, An Encyclopedia of Artistic, Plain, and Fancy Needlework by Sophia Frances Anne Caulfeild and Blanche Saward. This edition of the book is a softcover Facsimile of the 1882 edition, which was reprinted in 1972. It has over 800 black and white illustrations. It was reprinted from the first edition of the book.

The book is a whopping 530 pages long and measures approx 8 1/2 x 11 x 1 inches.

The best part about that book is that it can be found sooooo inexpensively online. I have seen numerous copies priced under $10 (although in the past, I’ve listed several copies for sale on ebay with pictures of the projects, and the bidding often goes much higher.)

Just a few of the many topics included in this book are:

  • sewing,
  • textiles,
  • lace,
  • ornamental needlework,
  • dressmaking,
  • terms,
  • macrame,
  • crochet,
  • knitting,
  • handmade lace,
  • horniton,
  • point lace,
  • crochet tatting (a neat technique that had never seen before and was thrilled to discover),
  • cut work/cutwork,
  • darned embroidery,
  • darned net,
  • devonshire lace,
  • double cross stitch,
  • drawnwork/ drawn work,
  • reticella,
  • lace pillow,
  • Duchesse lace,
  • Dutch pillow lace,
  • Satin Stitch,
  • Embroidery frame,
  • frame work,
  • Genoese Embroidery,
  • Greek Point,
  • Guipure D’Art,
  • Italian Pillow Lace,
  • many different knitting stitches,
  • edgings, knotting,
  • knot work,
  • lacet work,
  • linen embroidery,
  • madeira work,
  • maltese lace,
  • monograms,
  • mechlin lace,
  • netting,
  • star netting,
  • mosaic patchwork,
  • peniche lace,
  • ribbon work,
  • plaited stringwork,
  • Venetian lace,
  • raised embroidery,
  • Saxony lace,
  • shetland point lace,
  • tambour work,
  • tapestry,
  • tape work,
  • tatting,
  • ticking work,
  • and much much much more.

I think this book is well worth buying IF you like ornate, elaborate, intricate Victorian era needlework. The projects are all pretty amazing. In my honest opinion, this book only has 2 downsides: one is the ugly cover, the other is that the paper the pages are printed on is not the highest quality. The patterns themselves are wonderful.

Sorry that this page has no photos of the book for you. I WISH I still had my pictures of this book! If you could see the pictures, I think you’d fall in love with the book the same way I did. I recently experienced a hard drive failure, and I think that my pics of the book have been lost. I’ll be looking through all my CD-roms in case maybe I have them backed up somewhere, but I am not too hopeful that they will be found. If you have pics of this book that you’d be willing to share, please comment! Thanks!

Where to Buy the 1882 Dictionary of Needlework Book:

Find this book at

Ebay:If copies are listed for sale on the ebay auction site, they will appear in a list at the very top of this page. There are probably other copies available for immediate purchase in ebay stores. Click here to search for the 1882 Dictionary of Needlework in ebay stores.

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