This section is from the book "Arts & Crafts Magazine Vol1-2", by Hutchinson & Company.
The thread for white embroidery used in church work is known as "French embroidery cotton," although the best quality often bears the mark "made in Germany." There is a great difference in the quality of this cotton, and one should always use the best. -A cheap thread is never an economy, for it becomes fuzzy and unuseable before the needleful is half finished. It is not well to carry a long thread of this cotton in working, as it does not wear well. When buying the skeins one should select a firm, blue white thread, which has a certain brightness and gloss. A very little handling will, however, impair this even in good cotton; but it may be restored by dipping it into boiling soapsuds, then into clear hot water, and drying it quickly.
A white, soft darning cotton should be used for the "filling" work; it is not only inexpensive, but it is very pliable, and a perfect outline can be kept with it. In no embroidery, excepting figure work, is the keeping of the outline more difficult or more important than in "white work." A slight broadening or narrowing of the lines is very apparent in this severe treatment. For this reason it is always advisable to place the straight forms, such as the cross, with the woof and warp of the linen; then the stitches can be kept perfectly straight. They may, in fact, only separate the woven threads even in very line linens, instead of piercing them. This is not so difficult as one may imagine; indeed, it is rather a help to the worker to have this line guide. In this connection, it may be said, as this embroidery is very trying to the eyes, it is best always to work with a side light. Another very important thing to remember, is never to allow any light to shine through the linen from below. This may be avoided by using a dark sash curtain in the lower pane of the window, or eight or ten inches up from the sill. Dark green is, of course, the best colour for this. A black apron thrown on the lap will also be a great relief to the eyes. These suggestions may be observed with profit in all embroidery on partially transparent grounds, but they will be especially valuable in the ease of "white work."