Strapwork originated in the flat scroll work standard in Islamic metalwork. It was most fully developed in the Netherlands around 1540. Flemish and German woodworkers brought strapwork to England in the late 16th century, where it was used extensively.

This stylized ornament consisting of decorative forms resembling elaborately cut strips of leather or parchment, works outwards from a central point, most often a circle. The pattern then extends up, down, left, and right. There is no end to the paths this pattern can take.


Here I have laid out a strapwork pattern for a box front in poplar.


Quite a different look with the background removed. Wouldn’t you agree?


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