[HNW] household needlework 1500s - English

Kirrily Robert skud at infotrope.net
Wed Sep 11 10:37:23 PDT 2002

Elisabeth wrote:
> Has anyone come across a decent (or half decent) book about
> embroidery/needlework on household goods... cushions, carpets, hangings,
> etc. ... in England during the 1500s?  Ideally, I'm looking for
> information/pictures for 1500-1550, but anytime during that century
> would be helpful.  I know I've come across a mention here or there about
> cushions that had been worked, but they've been vague, and since I can't
> remember exactly where I read of such, I'm not certain that what I
> remember is valid or not in any way.
> Basically, I want to start something largish to use for attention
> getting at demos, but don't want it to be something with extremely fine
> work, or that really does need to stay completely clean from beginning
> to end (though I plan to keep much of the work that isn't being worked
> on covered most of the time).... and I had the thought that a cushion,
> or table carpet type thing, or even a wall hanging might just fit the
> bill.... cushion preferable because of its middling size... big, but not
> unwieldy.

I would recommend:

Santina Levey's "Elizabethan Treasures: The Hardwick Hall Textiles"
-- a book all about household textiles in the 16th century, but mostly

Mary Gostelow's "Blackwork"
-- numerous examples of blackwork on household items such as bedspreads
and pillows, cheap and easy to find as it's published by Dover

The V&A textiles book on "Embroidery 1200-1750", published sometime in
the 1990s, available from the V&A shop online or second-hand.
-- lots of wonderful, detailed close-up pics, probably one of the best
books you could get if you want to be inspired and see the broad range
of what was done in England during the medieval, renaissance and baroque

George Wingfield-Digby's "Elizabethan embroidery" (ILL it, it's
expensive and hard to find)
-- black and white photographs, I don't recall off-hand how many are
household textiles, and again mostly the latter part of the 16th century


(SCA: Katherine Rowberd)

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