[HNW] Greetings and about Opus Anglicanum

Dyan Johnson calendre57 at yahoo.com
Wed Oct 8 18:09:47 PDT 2003

 Guide to English Embroidery Victoria & Albert Museum - Patricia Wardle 1981 
ISBN 0 11 290030 5
This book offers several works in OA. The stitches listed on the stoles, copes & orphrey's illustrated from 900 to early 1300's include split, stem, underside couching, laid & couch work. 
By the end of the 14th century, OA passed it's peak & other embroidery techniques were beginning to be applied to the ecclesiastical pieces. Raised work is on the 1330 -1350 Butler - Bowdon Cope & Cope Orphrey 1340 - 1370.
There is no mention of the chain stitch on any of the works nor knots for eyes. 
Hope this helps....& remember - Interlibrary loan is a wonderful thing!
quill & needle, dyan

butler peter <dreamer81465 at yahoo.com> wrote:
I am sorry for not getting back to you all sooner.
Thank you very much for the help that you have given me so far.
What I am looking for in the research angle is basically anything that I can find about OA. I have mentioned earlier that I have found some stuff online and a couple of you have given me books that I can look for. I have never seen the actual copes (though I would love to)
Here is my problem...
(I have been {very bluntly, I would like to say} reminded that this is not an SCA site. But this pertains to somehting that has happened  to me regarding the SCA. If you are offended, I am sorry but we are here to discuss something and in this case, it overlaps with something else.)
I have been doing OA since May. I learned how to do it while I was attending an SCA event in Virginia. I was taught that "underside couching" was called "reverse couching" (for the semanticist) It was my first exposure to this particular stitch.
After I started working on a few projects, a Laurel came up to me and mentioned that the chain stitch was not used in OA. She said that the only stitches were the underside couching and the split stitch. I have been looking for documentation either for or against this conversation and I have none. I am sorry but, I need to know:
1) exactly what stitches were used and 
2) under what circumstances those stitches were used
   (i.e. was the french knot used for eyes, I have had some say "yes and I have had others say that the french knot was never used.)
I know that OA was used secularly for Alms pouches and that it was used ecclesiatically for the copes. But I also have one source that states that it was also used for small "favors". 
If anyone here has ever done any research in their histories, you all should know that you can look at two different sources and have two different answers to the same question. This is my problem. I am looking at multiple sources and I am looking for commonality in all of them to discern the truth from all of them. The problem is that when I look at modern embroidery books, I find that there is information on other forms of embroidery but nothing on OA. Most of my info on OA is from the internet. 
(Again, thank you for the book titles that have been given to me. I will see if I can find them.)
Most modern embroiderers (that I have met) don't even know that OA exists. 

Where there is love, everyone becomes a poet. ~ Plato



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