Updated March 6, 2021.
It all started because I was doing a series of mini-socks (this is the origin of many of my needlepoint ideas). The stocking was of elephants, and I didn’t want yet another plain basketweave background. So I decided to punch it up a bit by stitching the background in two threads, pearl cotton and wool in a diamond background.
It was lovely, and I started to do needlepoint damask. Like damask fabric, needlepoint damask is two different textures, usually of the same color, in a clearly defined pattern.
Needlepoint damask works best if you use two contrasting textures, such as matte and shiny, or solid and tweedy, or almost anything metallic. For the patterns to show up well, the threads need to be smooth, but beyond that, anything goes.
You can use any charted repeating pattern, large or small, for your damask. If you don’t want to use different textures, try using close but still distinguishable shades of the same color.
Here are a bunch of patterns with the charts below each stitched sample for you to try.
The pattern above is based on a brickwork pattern.
In this pattern, you can see how the background color can change how bold the pattern can be.
My original needlepoint damask pattern.
A slightly larger pattern of the traditional fleur de lis.
In this pattern, the units are outlined in one thread and filled with the other.
Another larger pattern that can work in a variety of settings.
I’m working on a book of needlepoint damask patterns with tons of charted designs from many different sources. Look for it later this year.