HNW - Woo-hoo! Yippee!

Sarah Randles s-randles at
Tue Jul 6 22:39:11 PDT 1999


In response to Megan's gloat:

I picked up a copy of Exploring Elizabethan Needlework when in NZ last
year, and was quite impressed with it as a how to book.  I think that it
needs to be used in conjunction with some other books to get a better
impression of the period feel, since I think the projects are a bit modern.
It took me a while to work out why (well some of them are obvious),
particularly with those that are based on period pieces.  I came to the
conclusion that the pieces she shows are a bit too neat, by which I mean
that they are too regular and measured up, while the original pieces were
worked more by eye, which gives them a more vibrant feel.  I think, too,
her use of DMC makes the pieces a bit flat, which would be rectified by
using a silk to a certain extent, and ideally a hand-dyed silk with a bit
of variation in colour to get some of the variations evident in originals.
More colour shading might help here too, as might some tighter weave and
different fabric backgrounds.  It's a pity that the book has no photos of
period pieces, but that said, I still think it's an excellent book.  I'd
recommend using it in conjunction with George Wingfield Digby's Elizabethan
Embroidery, if you can get hold of it.  It's sadly out of print, and the
photos are only B&W, but it is available in some library systems, notably
the ACT public library system.  I'd also recommend having a look at some
paintings with Elizabethan embroidery, and if possible some colour photos,
to get a better feel for colour variations and general presentation.

I'd like to see the other two books - could you post the ISBN numbers?

So, how about I set Elizabethan embroidery for a Worshipful Company of
Broderers (Lochac/Australia) comp for some time next year?


Sarah Randles                                    email: s-randles at
School of English                              phone: 02 6268 8842
University College ADFA                 fax:   02 6268 8899
Canberra ACT 2601

Note: on Mondays and Tuesdays I work at the Australian National Dictionary
Centre - phone: (02) 6249 0476.

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