I wondered how the three ways to shade Blackwork compared. Using 28-count linen and DMC threads, I stitched the three techniques, using four variations in each.
I centered the design in the same place—the top corner near the center of each cube-holding color, thread and pattern as constant as each technique would allow.
The left cube is worked in floss in the most common shading technique, the subtraction or addition of stitches to vary the density of the stitching. The forward facing side was used as the basic pattern for all three techniques.
The center cube is shaded by working the same basic pattern in four closely related values of floss, the third darkest being the value used in the other two.
The right cube uses the same pattern and shading throughout, but increasingly heavier thread for each area – floss, perle 12, floche and perle 8.