HNW - any Victorian needleworkers out there?

Carolyn Kayta Barrows kayta at
Mon Jul 26 05:24:23 PDT 1999

So many of us seem to either be SCA or Ren. Faire types, I have to ask -
are there any other Victorian needleworkers out there?  I costume thru the
entire range of Victoria's career, mostly when I can produce wearable

I figured out how to embroider on stockings.  I am going to copy some
1890's embroidered evening stockings I have but don't want to risk wearing.
 Put a piece of cardboard inside the stocking so you don't stitch right
thru to the other side by mistake.  The cardboard also stretches the
stocking so it doesn't pucker while you are working on it, like an
embroidery hoop does.  And since it's stretched while you work, the
embroidery won't be too tight when the stocking stretches around your leg
when you wear it.  Use a ball point needle so you don't make runs.

What is the right kind of thread for 1880's-style crazy quilt embroidery?
(I don't own a crazy quilt to copy yet).  I think they used that twisted
silk which looks like perle cotton (the kind the Chinese used on their
export embroidery).  What is that stuff called today, and what is a good
brand name?

What is the name of that soft untwisted silky stuff they used so much for
embroidery in the 19-teens and -twenties?  Is that floss silk?  I have some
antique examples of both the thread and of the embroidery, but the thread
is in a roll-up cloth caddy-thing and doesn't have its labels anymore.

Anyone seen the Victorian Hair Braiding Society web page?  It's full of
pictures of antique examples, antique and repro items for sale, and
technique.  Sorry, I lost the url, but it should be easily findable.

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