Different Types and Uses of Embroidery
By: Mitch Johnson
Embroidery though had a long history, but it very difficult to find them now because they could not last that long. English embroidery was one of the most popular one.
Although the art of embroidery was practiced very many centuries ago, the collector is unlikely to be able to acquire much that was made prior to about 1650. Pieces of
earlier date are extremely rare; not only are the majority of them preserved carefully in cathedrals, churches and museums, but understandably time has taken its toll.
English work of the middle Ages was famous throughout Europe, and the remaining examples show how justly its admiration was earned.
The work most likely to attract the collector is the type that was popular in the mid-seventeenth century, and known for no explicable reason as stump work. It consists of embroidery on a panel of silk (usually white) in colored silks with some of the principal features padded out, and often having human figures with carved wood heads, hands and feet. This type of work was made in the form of pictures, for covering the frames of mirrors, and for covering boxes; the latter usually fitted with numerous small drawers (some of them 'secret'), a mirror, and lined with pink paper bordered with silver tape.
Straightforward tent-stitch embroidery worked on a canvas backing, dating from the seventeenth century onwards, was stitched in both wool and silk, and occasionally with threads of gold and silver. Much of it has been preserved during the past 250 years, and a proportion retains much of its original brilliant coloring.
By reason of its attractive appearance and its durability it is not surprising that this type of work continues to be done today. Eighteenth-century furniture with its original (or contemporary) hand-worked covering is, of course, rare, but the value of a piece is increased greatly by its presence.
In the third quarter of the eighteenth century there was a vogue for pictures, square, oblong, round and oval, worked in colored silks on a silk background; the latter often
embellished with touches of water-colour. Most of these have faded, others are found to have backgrounds rotted with age and neglect, but perfect examples may sometimes be found and are very decorative. Subjects varied from imitations of the patterns on Chinese porcelain to renderings of willowy ladies weeping at the tomb of Shakespeare, or at that of Werther following the publication of Goethe's Sorrows of Werther in 1774. A lady named Mary Lin-wood of Leicester, achieved fame towards the end of the eighteenth century by working elaborate embroidery pictures, mostly imitating well-known paintings, sixty-four of which she exhibited in London for many years.
The familiar sampler began as a reference panel of patterns and stitches, but by the eighteenth century it had become an exercise for children. They were embroidered with the letters of the alphabet, mottoes, verses, texts, and the date of execution together with the name of the worker. Late in the century the making of maps became popular. These were drawn in outline on silk, and the whole, including county boundaries and names, then stitched carefully in appropriate colors.
The embroidery was used in the silk clothes and later on other types of clothes. Then embroidery was taken the wooden furniture. The eighteenth century wooden furniture has a vogue for pictures, square, oblong, round and oval. Embroidery has come a long way to its present stage. We can still find some of the early embroidery in different museums, churches, and cathedrals.
Bullion Knot (Diagram 2):
Beginning where we left off at B, bring the needle up at C, bring the needle down at D. Now, this is where it gets interesting...do NOT work the needle and yarn under the canvas thread. Instead, work the needle/yarn AROUND the horizontal stitch (the A/B stitch). Then, work the E/F stitch around the horizontal stitch, followed by G/H, I/J, K/L and so on...Remember, you are creating a "corkscrew" effect by twisting the yarn around the foundation stitch. Work as many twisting stitches as you can fit - just be sure to maintain an even tension.