QE1's embroidery (WAS: Re: HNW - Irish embroidery in the 1500's???)

Irene Davis idavis at ix.netcom.com
Thu Sep 23 00:00:42 PDT 1999

At 08:58 PM 9/22/99 -0700, you wrote:
>Eirny wrote:
>> 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.
>Mind sharing some more details?

I don't know where my notes are right now, but off the top of my head - the
knotwork was done with black fabric - it reminded me of the bias strips
that are used in Celtic Quilting applique. Because of the lousey lighting
it was impossible to see whether they actually used bias strips or not. The
strips were sewn down to an off-white ground fabric (it may have been
whiter when new) with tiny stitches along the edges. The fabric was of a
fine, high thread-count type - I don't believe they identified the fiber -
I would guess cotton from its appearance. There was not a lot to the
design, maybe six or eight inches. The appliqued fabric was about 1cm wide
and my recollection of the design was just a very simple twinned form that
is exactly like the simple knotwork borders that show up in paintings,
woodcarvings, ivory, etc.

>Which piece is this, and is it one of the few that are often reproduced, or
>something less well known?

I have never seen it reproduced anywhere. My husband found it in the study
cabinets at the V&A textile room and pointed it out to me. When I find my
notes I'll have the proper numbers for it - things got shuffled when we put
most of the crafts room into storage.


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