The History and Magic of Hedebo Embroidery with Jette Roy Finlay-Heath

We all met up at Priory Hall on Monday 10 April 2017 for a fascinating talk on Hedebo, Danish Whitework, given to us by Jette Roy Finlay-Heath.

Jette took us on a quick tour of her homeland and explained that three hundred years ago, the farming people who lived in the Hedebo heathland area, just south of Copenhagen, grew flax, which they spun to produce their own linen. This was made into many embroidered items, including bonnets and collars.

Jette told us that she had been taught to sew by her mother and that to design a piece of whitework involves geometry, so that a mathematical mind is an asset. She explained that there are six different techniques involved in Hedebo, including counted threads, pulled thread work and needlelace.

The techniques were developed over 300 years and it is quite possible nowadays to mix techniques up to create some amazing designs.

Jette told us that she has travelled to America, Canada and Newfoundland to teach Hedebo and that her husband Roy accompanies her on her overseas trips. She also used to teach at Urchfont Manor, which has now sadly closed.

Many thanks, Jette, for coming to visit us, we were all delighted to see your beautiful work and to listen to your talk on all things Danish!