HNW - 15th/16th c. embroidery

CarolynKayta Barrows kayta at
Thu Mar 22 01:53:37 PST 2001

> I think we fixated on "Renn Faire" and Elizabethan......<G>

Those of us who do other countries than England think so.

>There seems to be a huge gap in the embroidery
>world, from the time of cyclases up through about Henry VII, when there
>doesn't seem to be much embroidery in use except in the church.  

Middle- and upper-class shirts and chemises of this timeframe are almost
always embroidered, especially in the places where they poke out from under
the brocades, etc. of the outer garments.  The Italians, Germans, Spanish,
French, and Eastern Europeans did plenty of embroidered shirts and
chemises, to judge from contemporary portraits and other pictures.
Smocking, cross stitch, couching, and various bobbin-, needle-, and
drawn-thread- lace are seen, in addition to the blackwork which more
commonly comes to mind.

Another place where embroidery is used by the Italians, Germans, Spanish,
French, and Eastern Europeans is on the bands of trim on velvet and brocade
garments.  Applique and woven braid are also used for this, in addition to
the techniques listed above.

The V&A has mostly English examples in their costume collection, altho
there are examples from other places in other museums.  But since most of
the books available are British publications, guess where most of the
examples we see come from?
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