HNW - Embosted stitchery

fiondel@fastrans.net fiondel at fastrans.net
Mon Sep 7 06:36:16 PDT 1998


Thanks to Mistress Bunny, I have found the historic needlework list.
How lovely!  :)

Anyway, I just came "on line" on Saturday, and it was for me that
the question about embroidery in high relief was asked.  Since I 
originally started asking folks about this, I've picked up a couple
of things.  

In the 17th and 18th century, raised embroidery was called 
stumpwork, and the process was done using (sometimes) small pieces
of wood, or stumps, to achieve the three-dimensional effect, hence
the name. Beautiful stuff, done to decorate boxes and frames and
mirrors, among other things, but not period, unfortunately.

IN period, however, the technique was called "embosted" stitchery
in England, and Reliefsticherei in Germany.  Most of the best
examples of this were done in Germany, Austria, Hungary, and 
Bohemia.  

What got me started on this was a picture in "Textiles, 5,000
Years" edited by Jennifer Harris, Harry N. Abrams, Inc., publishers,
ISBN 0-8109-3875-8.  On page 204, there is and orphrey, done on 
linen.  You can't believe how intricate and gorgeous this thing
is.  It has what amount to cathedral arches, over the Madonna 
and Child, and Sts. Barbara, Dorothy, Catherin, and Ursula. The 
description says "linen embroidered in high relief with applied gold
brocade gold thread and silks in couched work, stem and satin stitches, 
and ornamented with pearls.  Austria, c.1470"  

My problem is, "HOW did they do this?"  Anybody have any ideas?  Or
has anyone out there actually ever tried this technique?  I'm 
gonna try it, but I'd rather avoid "reinventing the wheel," if
I can.

It's fun to have a chance to chat with my fellow "needle jockeys."

Fiondel Songspinner
A & S Champion,
Barony of Three Rivers, Calontir

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