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Berlin wool work

Berlin wool work patterns in colour were first published in Berlin, Germany, early in the 19th century. Soon they were exported to Britain and the USA where "Berlin work" became a craze. Indeed, Berlin work became practically synonymous with Canvas work.

In Britain, Berlin work received a further boost through the Great Exhibition of 1851, and by the advent of ladies' magazines such as The Englishwoman's Domestic Magazine.

The popularity of Berlin work was largely due to the fact that, for the first time in history, a fairly large number of women had leisure time to devote to needlework.

Subjects to be embroidered were influenced by Victorian Romanticism and included Victorian paintings, biblical or allegorical motifs, quotations such as 'Home Sweet Home' or 'Faith, Hope, Love.

Later in the 19th century, Berlin work was superseded by William Morris and his Arts and Crafts movement.