[HNW] Re: Elizabethan slips questions
karen_larsdatter at yahoo.com
Mon Feb 17 18:38:59 PST 2003
Sorry, I'm just on the digest, and am in the typical frenzy of
pre-deadline foo for the Compleat Anachronist ...
In terms of the shading, I'd recommend examining slips of a similar
style to the one(s) you wish to produce to determine how the shading
was done. I found it very instructional to sit down and chart out a
motif from a 17th century spot sampler in King & Levey's book on the
V&A embroideries, but there are other books which actually offer
charted versions of slips that are a bit easier to work with -- I
recently acquired Pamela Warner's "Tudor Treasures to Embroider," which
features a few charted patterns from slips (which IMHO are some of the
very few useful patterns in the whole book in terms of having
*anything* to do with real 16th century needlework).
The Oxburgh Hangings can also be useful for looking at the way shading
was done -- Swain's "Needlework of Mary Queen of Scots" is my favorite
book for looking at the panels in color and in a readably close
picture. Elder's charted versions in "V&A Needlepoint Collection"
aren't as faithful as I think they *could* have been, but it at least
supplies some suggested colors for reproducing the "Crocodil" and "A
One of the things I'd found with the spot motif and with other
tent-stitch embroideries of the late 16th & early 17th centuries is
that the means of shading is done by having the dividing line between
the two colors be zig-zagged, so one stitch is the color from one side,
the next is the color from the other side, etc. I suppose I could scan
in the chocolate bunny I'd done from the spot sampler if anyone would
find that useful. (Sadly, the pattern is long gone -- I think it was
lost the last time I upgraded systems.)
Sometimes this zig-zag bit (oh, I'm sure there's a technical term for
this -- blending zone, maybe?) is only one stitch wide; I've seen a few
examples where it appears to be two or more stitches wide.
As to other locations for slips -- domestic furnishings are the most
common example (as Rachel mentioned) but I have in fact seen their use
elsewhere -- on ladies' petticoats. I have only seen this in a few
portraits, though, so it may not be a typical fashion.
While they are hard to see at
(portrait of Elizabeth Vernon, Countess of Southampton, ca. 1600) they
are easier to see in the black & white photo of that painting in
Digby's "Elizabethan Embroidery," plate #33.
The plate opposite it in that book I think also represents a petticoat
embroidered with slips, though I am not as confident about saying that
all of the embroideries on the petticoat are slips. I'm looking for
that portrait online, but I'm not finding it. It is a portrait of
Queen Elizabeth at Hardwick Hall. All I can find of it is an
upholstery textile inspired by the the petticoat in the portrait, at
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