[HNW] Applique documentation?

Laren laren at webcon.net.au
Tue Aug 12 21:17:13 PDT 2003

At 11:16 PM 12/08/2003 -0400, you wrote:

>Chris Laning wrote:
> >
> > Having volunteered to write an article about applique before 1600,
> > I'm unhappily finding that I'm coming up rather short when it comes
> > to both examples and information. I'm hoping I can pick other
> > people's brains <g>.
>Examples are easy:
>Wall hangings: Tristan hanging (Staniland); Hardwick Virtues (Levey)
>Canopies: Baldaquin or canopy from 15th century Sweden (Schuette, fig.
>190 and Staniland, fig. 35 (in color)). This can also be seen on-line at
>(2nd piece in 2nd row, I think 3rd in 1st row is also applique)
>16th century Italian, Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum (Cavallo, #91)
>Bed curtains: Scottish, 16th or 17th century, velvet on wool (Swain,
>plate 6a and 6b)
>Funeral palls: "Totenteppich" Funeral Pall, 2nd half of the 15th
>century  (Schuette, fig. 304 and Clabburn, fig. 52)
>Pillows: Hardwick (Levey), V&A (King & Levey, plates 21-24)
>Bedcovers: Sweden, 15th century,
>(about halfway down)
>Heraldic bag (Staniland)
>Mameluke cover and heraldic pieces (Ellis)
>Schuette flower panel
>Clothing in Patterns of Fashion
>Gloves in Cleveland painting
>Canvaswork slips
> > I'm particularly concerned about techniques -- I know applique _was_
> > used as a decorative fabric technique, and I know some plausible
> > techniques that make it lots easier -- what I can't seem to find is
> > information about whether anything was done in period that was any
> > more sophisticated than plunking down cutouts of one fabric on
> > another and starting to sew.
>I've had the same problems, and questions about period techniques.
>According to Staniland (pp. 33-34), when wool was used there was no
>fraying because of the partial felting that occurs during fulling. More
>fragile fabrics such as silk brocades or velvets, used candle wax on the
>edges to prevent fraying.
>In the 17th century, some sort of paste was being used by professional
>embroiderers (Arthur, p. 22). She also mentions a paper backing, but
>this is for one of the seal bags with metal thread embroidery on a slip
>applied to velvet, and may not be typical of earlier applique.
>This is all I've been able to turn up, except some references in Queen
>Elizabeth's Wardrobe Unlocked to sizing needed for "cutwork", which I
>think in some cases may refer to applique. The only thought I've had for
>getting more information is to look at books about textile conservation
>which might be more likely to mention the hidden details of
>Arthur, Liz. Embroidery 1600-1700 at the Burrell Collection. London:
>John Murray (Publishers) Ltd, 1995.
>Cavallo, Adolph S.  Textiles: Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum. Boston:
>Trustees, 1986.
>Clabburn, Pamela.  Masterpieces of Embroidery.  Oxford: Phaidon Press
>Limited, 1981.
>Ellis, Marianne.  Embroideries and Samplers from Islamic Egypt.  Oxford:
>Ashmolean Museum, 2001.
>King, Donald and Levey, Santina.  The Victoria & Albert Museum's Textile
>Collection:  Embroidery in Britain from 1200 to 1750. New York:  Canopy
>Books, 1993.
>Levey, Santina.  Elizabethan Treasures: The Hardwick Hall Textiles.  New
>York: Harry N. Abrams, Inc., 1998.
>Schuette, Marie and Mueller-Christensen, Sigrid.  A Pictorial History of
>Embroidery.  New York: Praeger, 1964.
>Staniland, Kay.  Medieval Craftsmen: Embroiderers.  British Museum Press
>and University of Toronto Press, 1991.
>Swain, Margaret H.  Historical Needlework: A Study of Influences in
>Scotland and Northern England.  New York:  Charles Scribner's Sons,


I am in the process of setting up a Medieval Embroidery Wiki. Would I be 
able to use this post as a basis for a section on period applique? With 
full credit to you, of course.


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