HNW - Irish embroidery in the 1500's???

Irene Davis idavis at
Tue Sep 14 12:40:12 PDT 1999

>Does anyone know what stitches and patterns the Irish were really using in
>the mid- to late-1500's?  Are there any surviving examples of Irish
>embroidery from this period?  Books about it?  Did the Irish even have the
>leisure time to embroider?  The way they are doing this doesn't seem very
>'period' (certainly not in cotton), so the pureist in me just had to ask
>what the Irish were really doing.

I don't have info specific to the Irish, but certainly chain stitch is one
of the oldest forms of embroidery that we find in Europe. The Vikings used
it extensively and they did have some complex "knot-like" designs. Knotwork
was incredibly pervasive in embroidery, applique and just about every other
artform both pre and post 1600's.


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