Fabrics, oh Glorious Fabrics!

Detail from an Elizabethan Jacket

So after a whirlwind couple of weeks I return with a small post on one of my greatest loves! Embroidery.  This ancient and enduring art form, is wonderful in all its tactile magnificence, variety, and exquisite delicacy.  Across much of the world it has been, and still is, used to embellish clothing and fabrics for the home.  Despite its evident gorgeousness, it is an art which has it seems, been undervalued.  I hope that these examples will convey the skill, patience and charming creativity that are necessary for the creation of a fine piece of embroidery.

In recent years this art has become associated with countries such as India where labour is still affordable, and where every outfit abounds with dazzling embroidery.  It is good to see though, that until the early 20th Century, the British were also talented on the embroidery front, as may be witnessed in the wonderful 17th century example above, and the utterly delightful detail from a bed curtain below.

18th Century Embroidered Dress, Bath.

Albanian Embroidery

Embroidered Japanese Kimono, c.1800-1850.

From the design we are able to deduce that this kimono would have belonged to a young (red), married lady (short sleeves). It now belongs to the V&A.

May Morris Battye, Embroidered Tapestry, 1900

English Crewel Work

Moroccan Suzani work

Turkish Embroidery 17th Century

Turkish Embroidery 18th Century

Antique Indian Hunting Shawl

Bed Curtain, 1700-1715, Britain, at the V&A

Britain, 1620, at the V&A

Detail from a Blouse Piece, Bombay, 1880


~ by bethiarose on July 21, 2010.

One Response to “Fabrics, oh Glorious Fabrics!”

  1. Love seeing the beautiful designs. Our company hand manufactures Crewel Embroidery fabrics. It is done in the same manner as past generations and takes an incredible amount of Patience and dedication to do this daily. We also are doing custom work for artist who want to create their individual art on Crewel embroidery and Crewel Chainstitch items. This is creating a new wave of design which is really wonderful and will become part of the history of Crewel art!

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