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

Carolyn Kayta Barrows kayta at
Tue Sep 14 20:19:22 PDT 1999

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.

Do you have specific documentation on this?  (As in, I don't and would like
to read it.)  I know very little about Viking embroidery.  I know that
there were occasional Vikings in Ireland, usually to the detriment of the
locals.  Specifically, I'd like to see citations on the use of chain stitch
in the 1500's, especially being used in these same "knot-like" designs.
Chain stitch doesn't seem to have been the outline stitch of preference at
this time, for English embroiderers anyway.

BTW, I did know that "knot-like" designs occurred in many different time
periods and cultures.  (Some of the Moslem examples are pretty amazing.)  I
even have some Ren. period embroidery pattern book reprints which include
them (usually graphed in squares, tho not always).  I like to think I am
pretty familiar with what "knot-like" designs usually look like in this
period.  So what I am questioning is the use of Book-of-Kells-style
"knot-like" designs and beasties 700+ years later in the 1500's.  Gorgeous,
but not the right style of "knot-like" designs.

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