[HNW] Hardanger

Anne of Bradford rdwlist at acsalaska.net
Wed Jan 23 12:12:29 PST 2002

My two cents, meant to provoke thought, rather than flame...

One thing I can't help noticing is the similarity between the designs often
found in hardanger embroidery, and the early apron decorations made by
sewing small bits of spiral'd wires into stepped patterns.  The 10th or 11th
c Finnish lady's costume from the Smithsonian's North Atlantic Saga comes to
mind, along with the fragments of decorative bands (_Vikings: The North
Atlantic Saga_, Fitzhugh and Ward ed., ISBN 1-56098-970, plates 6.8 to
6.10).  I'm not implying that hardanger evolved from those, but rather
perhaps there was a cultural familiarity with the blocks of satin stitch,
which is much easier (and probably cheaper) to decorate cloth with than the
spiral'd wires.  It's easy to imagine that one could follow from the other.

I've not seen any middle ground, nor any continuity of the wire decoration
to hardanger stitching which would imply a direct line of development, but
it's often been my wish to be in a position to investigate the line of
extent finds of both types of fabric decoration in that part of the world to
see if there was any relationship between the two.

 - Anne of Bradford, wishing she had all the time and travel funds in the

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