HNW - Re: Historical Blackwork's messy back

EowynA@aol.com EowynA at aol.com
Fri Aug 7 10:27:09 PDT 1998


Hello all!

I have seen several people comment on the list about the "messy back' on
historical (16th - 17th c.) blackwork.  To clarify, I am just referring to the
filling pattern style of blackwork, not the counted bands (Spanish work is
their probable contemporary name), or speckling style.  

I have not seen these "messy backs" myself, nor do I know where to find photos
of such  (does anyone?).  To those who have seen one or more of these, I pose
some questions:
  1.   Does it appear that the stitching was done in  backstitch (which leaves
a characteristic appearance on the back that "cuts corners", and has thicker
lines for long straight lines, but does not intrinsically produce long
carrying threads), or was it less organized than that?  Or possibly did you
not check for that?  Did the information card displayed with the piece(s) you
saw label the outlining as backstitch?
   2.  Have you ever seen any 16th - 17th c. blackwork fillings done in
double-running?  (One can tell for certain only by looking at the back side,
which is relatively tidy). 

I've been told recently that the only _documentably_ historical stitch for
producing filling patterns in blackwork was the backstitch.   I am looking for
either a counter-example, or support for that statement (of course, it cannot
be proven, only disproven).  I have not myself seen the backs of any
historical blackwork pieces, and it sounds like several on this list may have.

Inquiring minds want to know.  

Melinda Sherbring

(Mistress Eowyn Amberdrake, Caid)
	
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