Monday, December 31, 2012

Chapter 2 - Traditional embroidery samples

At this stage I had not selected a type of flower to study historically and so no obvious design came to mind when I needed to make embroidery sample flowers.
I decided instead to examine a favourite embroidered panel from the 17th century, take a small area, enlarge it and use selected areas of design to sample embroider.
Photo 2.1 shows the presentation A3 board with the original panel top left and the section bordered in a white frame enlarged to give the large design in the centre.

The embroidery samples are displayed around the outside using selected motifs or white framed areas (approx 2.5 x 3cm) as the design.  Starting from top right these samples are as follows:

Long and short satin stitch in cotton embroidery floss on linen.

The attached flap (top right in 2.3) is sewn in dyed Perle cotton on linen using a chain stitch border and Hollie point interior.
The 3-dimensional petals were sewn using the same thread and stitch.  An initial wire shape was couched onto linen backing, covered completely in buttonhole stitch (photo 2.4) before being filled in.  Having completed only 2 petals I can't imagine doing a whole flower let alone the motifs created in the light-challenged 17th century!


Photo 2.6 shows a sample of tent stitch in cotton floss over fine cotton using waste canvas as a guide.  Some of the canvas threads have been left in for demonstration.

Photo 2.7 demonstrates close rows of chain stitch in various shades using cotton floss on linen.


Photo 2.8 presents one of the design leaves in Kantha stitching (running stitch).  Several layers of fine lawn have been used as this embroidery technique often combined fabric layers with slight puckering to give extra warmth to the material as well as decoration.


Blackwork or monochromatic stitching was popular at this time (photo 2.9).  The slip here outine in stem stitch uses speckling in green to give shading to the motif.

Photos 2.10 and 2.11 show a slip motif in raised embroidery (stumpwork) in satin stitch over a small felt shape and a raised couched band in green on calico.




Chapter 1b - Foreign Embroidery study

The second part of chapter 1 research called for a study of floral embroidery from a foreign country. For this part I looked to the history of textiles in Japan, particularly Japanese embroidery
Like many cultures, different embroidery techniques exist in Japan eg. Rozashi (a geometric embroidery using silk threads on rigid silk canvas), Bunka (punch embroidery), and sashiko, but true Japanese embroidery has unique characteristics.

The embroidery stitches are essentially the same as those found in western embroidery eg. sashinui (long and short satin stitch) and sagaranui (knotted stitch, similar to French knots) but it is the precision and execution of these stitches in layers using silk and metal threads that makes Japanese embroidery highly recognisable.

Gray, Julia D. (2009) Traditional Japanese Embroidery, Search Press
Tamur, Shuji (1998) The Techniques of Japanese Embroidery, Krause Publications (embroidered japanese kimonos collection)

Sunday, December 30, 2012

Chapter 1a - Historical Embroidery study

With 2012 almost over and thoughts turning to resolutions I've managed to get some of my work on Module 4 finally down on A3 card and, of course, up on the blog.

Initial historical research in Chapter 1 looks at flowers in embroidery from the Elizabethan era (during 16 and 17th centuries).  I started by looking at samplers as I had a wonderful book on the Goodhart Samplers I picked up from Montecute House last time I visited the UK.  The collection itself on display at Montecute was amazing and I could have spent the whole day studying them in detail.

The next board (1.2) looks at embroidery in costumes and the third (1.3) at embroidery in accessories such as gloves and bags.



Towards the end of the 17th century, raised embroidery or stumpwork was particularly popular often with floral themes.  Much of this embroidery appeared in wall hangings, mirror surrounds, and caskets, boxes or small cabinets.  Examples of this embroidery are found in 1.4.


I acknowledge several publications and websites for some of the photos and material used in this presentation.

Bromiley Phelan, Dorothy (2008) The Goodhart Samplers, Needlepoint Press
Exhibition Review, Wrought with the Needle, 2011, March/April Embroidery
Mayer Thurman, Christa C. (1992) Textiles in the Art Institute of Chicago, the Art Institute of Chicago Press
Victoria and Albert Museum, London