Jenny Adin-Christie’s tips for whitework, raised work and metal thread technique

Jenny Adin-Christie is a trained apprentice from the Royal School of Needlework (RSN). Adin-Christie currently works freelance, traveling internationally to teach, tutoring private students in the United Kingdom, and working private, royal, and ecclesiastical commissions from small pieces to large works that include appliqué and machine embroidery. She was a member of the RSN team who made the lace for Kate Middleton’s wedding gown (the details of the process must remain a secret for thirty years).

These tips content originally appeared on our profile of Jenny Adin-Christie in our December 2017 issue of Needle Arts. You can read Jenny’s profile and see some of her amazing work here.

Learn to use your needle as a drawing implement rather than merely a device to pull the thread through the fabric. This is essential in learning to achieve that perfect look of fabulous pure whitework, seen in historic pieces and professional work. My self-published book, Fundamental Whitework Techniques, provides instruction in this method and the use of satin stitches.

Raised work
Avoid being a slave to the past. Enjoy studying the old pieces, but look forward and think how modern materials could enhance your designs and save you time and work! For example, metallic mesh ribbon looks like needlelace. Why not use it instead?

Metal Thread
Keep all your metal threads in anti-tarnish to help avoid having to fight tarnishing once the piece is done. When planning a design, carefully place metal threads known to tarnish in an area where the deepening color will allow that element of the design to recess. Use non-tarnishing synthetic metals to highlight the peak points in the design. As the other threads tarnish, the contrast of the two will bring out the design more significantly.

To book a teaching engagement with Jenny Adin-Christie, visit her website at or contact her at View comprehensive, handillustrated instruction manuals and a broad range of beautiful, specially sourced materials from around the world, including bespoke handmade items; a range of threads which she orders specially made, embroidery tools crafted by her father, and other unique items such as wooden boxes and haberdashery.

Written by Cheryl Christian, Needle Arts Editor


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