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

Irene Davis idavis at
Mon Sep 20 15:48:51 PDT 1999

>Meanwhile, back at Faire, what the local Irish are doing still leaves a
>funny taste in my mouth.  It doesn't 'look and feel' quite period to me.
>Maybe it's their use of cotton embroidery floss (which, come to think of
>it, reminds me of a Hippie's blue jeans).  Maybe it's their choice of
>brighter colours, tho they tell me the Irish at the time were masters of
>dyer's art. 

I understand what you mean about "a funny taste", but the more research I
do the more I learn not to pay TOO much attention to "funny tastes". For
instance, bright colors were EXTREMELY period. The gorgeous carved wood and
carved stone pediments, gargoyles, etc. that we are accustomed to seeing
were actually painted in the most incredibly gaudy colors (this is also
true for Greek and Roman statuary). Many things that were 100% period look
very out of place to us - they don't fit the stereotypes that we have
developed. At Pennsic we were discussing a 100% authentic sock, ankle
height, with a red stripe around the top. Now this sounds for all the world
like a sports sock - not exactly what we think of as period, but definitely
the real thing. If you are not comfortable with the look, don't do it. I
personally saw a piece of fabric with appliqued knotwork (in the style used
in Celtic Quilting) in the V&A in January. The piece was used as part of
the backing of a piece embroidered by Elizabeth I.

Irene/ Eirny

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