[HNW] Linen Then - response

Alexandria Doyle garbaholic at gmail.com
Mon Mar 10 07:15:56 PDT 2008

The question this and other emails in this thread that brings to mind,
is, when you say linen meant for embroidery and linen for garments are
different, are you referring modernly or historically?  I think this
is an important distinct when the desire is to reproduce a
historically accurate piece of embroidery.

If one is working on canvas work, usually for household furnishings
and the like, there was references to loose woven "canvas", which
sounds to me like the modern needlepoint canvases that are more grid
than fabric.  But the style of work discussed here is the Elizabethan
raised work and goldwork.  This was a style that was used a lot on
garments, such as coifs and jackets.  I think there are enough of
these artifacts to determine that they weren't using a special linen,
but "garment" linen.  For the jackets, I would expect it to have been
lined, after the embroidery, but can't say for sure.

I guess that's why I wanted more information about using two layers,
my focus tends to be the later period Elizabethan styles and hadn't
seen it.  If one is working a style that completely covers the ground,
like the Opus Anglican, then I understand the use of the two layers.
But I would use great caution in using the rational that "they did it
two years prior, so they much have been doing in here too."

If my opinion counts for anything, if this were my project I would be
using a tightly woven, one layer, heavy bottom weight linen.  By the
way, I believe that the "tabby" weave and evenweave are basically the
same thing, one thread over and under.  I would expect "evenweave" to
have the same number of threads per inch in the warp as the weft, but
tabby may have - say forty in one direction, fifty in the other.
Unless you are doing a counted thread pattern it shouldn't make much
difference, and even then it's a designers choice, to modify the
pattern to be equal in both vertical and horizontal rows, or leave as


On Mon, Mar 10, 2008 at 7:15 AM, Karla Norris <melisandedf at hotmail.com> wrote:
>  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.
>  Melisande
> --
"I'm buying this fabric/book now in case I have an emergency...you
know, having to suddenly make presents for everyone, sickness,flood,
injury, mosquito infestations, not enough silk in the house, it's
Friday..."  ;)

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