[HNW] Linen Then - response

Karla Norris melisandedf at hotmail.com
Mon Mar 10 05:15:33 PDT 2008

My friend, who is an embroiderer extrodinaire, tells me there is a difference between linen meant for garments and linen meant for embroidery.  However, she lives in Los Angeles, which has a wonderful garment district and fabric of every type available.  I, like you, don't.  My fabric choices are limited.  That is why I bought what I could find, a medium weight linen and used two layers.  Once the embroidery was done, and I covered the whole ground with my embroidery, you could not tell the difference.  Use what you have available, just ensure it is heavy enough to support your embroidery.  Use two layers if you need to.  If you use silk, back it with a sturdier cloth.  
Aida, I am told, is NOT period.  Further Aida, limits you to where you place the stitches.  Even the tightest woven has holes through which the stitches go.  I did my first Or Nue (another goldwork technique) on Aida and found it very limiting.
Don't stress, this is not for a competition, but for fun and beauty.  Use what you have and can afford and what looks best.
As for Kay Staniland's book.  It is a wonderful reference, but does tend to focus mostly on the earlier period works, not Elizabeathan.  I included it in response to someone's question about why two layers of linen.
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