Borderie Anglais is a whitework hand embroidery which is very similar to cutwork embroidery. The basis of this embroidery work is the eyelet stitch.In this work beautiful designs of flowers, leaves and stems are done almost entirely in eyelets and ladders
The work has delicate eyelets and ladders which are done in satin stitches, overcasting, buttonholing, needleweaving and picots.Other surface embroidery is incorporated along with the Borderie Anglais work. Now you donot see hand Borderie Anglais work as much as the machine made one.
It is supposed to have originated in the Soviet region as a peasant embroidery work and later became popular in England. Nowadays this work is also known as English work. Other names like Swiss work are also used. I have heard this work as Hakoba work for a long time, since when, as a kid almost all my dresses had Hakoba trims. In South Africa a similar work is known as Madeira work
This work can look very similar to needle lace work when done delicately and intricately. It is mostly used to decorate linen, nighwear and baby dresses
How to do the Borderie Anglais work
The flowers and leaves are all done the same way that eyelets are done. Checkout this post on eyelet stitches to know how to make them. First running stitch is worked around the area of the hole and then the holes are made with small awls /stilettos and then the area is overcast .
You can make small ladders that we see often in this work the same way that the eyelets are done. The stitches are very delicate and small and requires a lot of patience and concentration to finish.
For making bigger ladders the fabric is cut away from between the stitches the same way that we do for cutwork.The difference between cutwork and Border Anglais is that in Border Anglais the fabric is cut first before overcasting is done.