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Early Non-European Counted Embroidery Pattern Darning, Cross stitch, counted herringbone and Double Running stitch are all features found in early Non- European counted embroidery. These stitches are amongst the earliest known Class Outline I. Early Non- to mankind and their origins can not be European counted definitively traced to any one culture. embroidery II. German Medieval It is generally believed that they were brought styles from China into Persia, India, Egypt and III. 16 th century from there spread to Spain and the Blackwork Mediterranean region and then into the IV. 16 th century voided embroidery rest of Europe. The vast majority of early V. 16th C. Canvas extant pieces are from Egypt and Work Morocco. VI. 16 th C. Non-voided Cross Stitch If you are interested in this early non- embroidery European style I recommend the VII. 16th C. Middle following book highly. Embroideries Eastern Pattern Darning & Samplers from Islamic Egypt VIII. 16 th C. Indian and by Marianne Ellis Indo-Portuguese embroideries Multicolor counted work (silk on linen) was done in Germany primarily from the 13th-15th centuries and was especially popular in the Lower Saxony/Westphalia region. This technique was applied to almost anything including purses, boxes, pillows, hangings and vestments. The primary stitch used was brick stitch. (instructions below) If you are interested in this style I recommend you visit Master Richard Wymarc’s site and article, “A Stitch out of Time” available at: http://wymarc.com/asoot/german/stitch_article/stitchArtic le.php German White Work is called Opus Teutonicum: “Opus Teutonicum was created using white linen thread on white linen ground fabric. Silks and wools of light colors were sometimes used to highlight parts of the design. A variety of techniques were used in German whitework, one involved filling figural or abstract designs with complex geometric patterns created in satin or brick stitches. This added texture to the overall design.” taken from http://medieval.webcon.net.au/technique_opus_teuto nicum.html The majority of these items are ecclesiastical and were worked in area convents. It is not strictly a counted style, but some items were done using counted techniques including brick stitch and pattern darning. German Embroidery Resources on the WEB: A Stitch Out of Time by Master Richard Wymarc http://wymarc.com/asoot/german/stitch_article/stitchArt icle.php Some pics from the Medieval Arts & Crafts Blog: http://medievalartcraft.blogspot.com/2008_11_01_archiv e.html Some images on Needle’s Excellency Blog: http://www.laren.blogspot.com/2005_04_01_archive.html An Excellent article on Whitework: http://wkneedle.bayrose.org/Articles/Whitework.html Blackwork is commonly thought to be an Elizabethan form of embroidery. However, while it was widely done in England it was popular throughout Europe during the 16th century and can been seen on many extant articles of clothing from England, Germany and Italy. Blackwork can be done in a counted/reversible way, but was frequently NOT counted. The double running (Holbein) stitch is the element of the embroidery that is counted and reversible. There are many extant examples of this counted/reversible double running stitch that are done in colors other than black including red, blue, pink, and purple! See the double running diagram below: A Blackwork Article published in Fancywork magazine: http://web.archive.org/web/20041010120437/http://www.ne edlearts.com/articles/article_13/article_13.htm An article entitled “Double Running Stitch”: http://home.comcast.net/~mathilde/embroidery/blackwrk. htm Elizabethan Blackwork pattern archives: http://www.blackworkarchives.com/ Filum Areum Newsletter – Blackwork Edition http://wkneedle.bayrose.org/filum/filum_34_blackwork.pdf The voided embroideries of the 16th century which have later come to be called Assisi (Italy)embroidery have a few common characteristics. First of all they utilize counted embroidery techniques. Commonly long armed cross stitch but occasionally, double running stitch, and a drawn work technique called “punto milano” which gave the embroidery a lace-like feel. Traditional cross stitch is rarely seen. Secondly, there is typically only one color of silk used. Most frequently red ,but blue and green examples do exist. The background of the embroidery was done in colored silks and the designs are left blank. It is very rare to see an Italian voided embroidery that is within our period of study that has the designs or other elements outlined in black. It was primarily used on domestic items and furnishings such as table covers, pillows, towels, and aprons. Also frequently seen as altar cloths in Italian convents. Mistress Clare’s Voided Embroidery Page: http://insanehobby.150m.com/clare/assisi.html Stalking the Wild Assisi: http://home.comcast.net/~medievalneedle/assisi.htm Filum Areum Newsletter – Voided Work Edition http://wkneedle.bayrose.org/filum/filum_18_june_02.pdf The Museum of Fine Arts in Boston has many extant voided embroideries available to view in their online image database. Primarily seen in England and France Tent Stitch diagram For many the first thing that comes to mind when discussing 16th c. Canvas Work Embroidery are the Mary Queen of Scotts /Oxburg Panels. While those may be among the most famous, the style was pervasive in England and France and many extant embroideries exist. Some scholars attribute its popularity to the fact that it was a fast/cheap way to imitate tapestries It was a good choice for furnishings (in wool) due to its strength and durability. Entire large embroideries could be done in this way, but they also did smaller slips that were then cut out and applied to other materials such as velvets. The period versions are very similar to modern needlepoint and used silk, wool and metallic floss depending on the application, size and use of the item. A number of needlepoint stitches were used including tent stitch, cross stitch, gobelin, etc. ITALY: In Italy they did a type of canvas work similar to Bargello. While it is canvas work, it is not similar either stylistically or technically to the very popular English/French canvas embroideries. There are very few extant Italian examples and there is very little information about it. There is a nice article on this style in the resources section. Needlework of Mary Queen of Scots by Margaret Swain Filum Areum Newsletter – Related editions below: • http://wkneedle.bayrose.org/filum/filum_oct_02.pdf •http://wkneedle.bayrose.org/filum/filum_march_200 0_1.pdf •http://wkneedle.bayrose.org/filum/filum_33_sweetb ags.pdf By the 16th Century Cross stitch was well utilized all across Europe and the middle east and can be found domestically in most cultures. Here are some examples: (Background Italian) Top – Sicilian Middle – Icelandic Bottom (L) – Spanish Bottom (M) – England Keep in mind that Long Armed Cross stitch (diagram below) is considered the normal form of cross stitch in period. A great article with instructions and patterns can be found here below. Cross:Cultural by Christian de Holacombe http://wkneedle.bayrose.org/filum/filum_ march_02.pdf Pattern Darning is a counted embroidery technique that uses running stitches to create a pattern or filling. In Middle Eastern Embroidery it is generally reversible and the rows are typically diagonally aligned. Embroidery is brightly colored, done in silks on plain even weave linen background. Motifs are generally floral/vegetative. See the stitch diagram below which shows pattern darning in diagonal rows. Flowers of Silk & Gold: Four Centuries of Ottoman Embroidery by Sumru Belger Krody The Victoria & Albert Museum Online Image Gallery has a vast array of 16th century Ottoman embroideries with detailed information on stitches used and patterns, etc. Filum Areum Newsletter – Pattern Darning Issue http://wkneedle.bayrose.org/filum/Filum_31_patdarning.pdf Information about embroidery in India during the SCA period of study is limited. However, there are a number of extant embroideries from India in the 16th century that utilize counted embroidery techniques. The MFA houses several Manuscript covers such as the background here that are done using counted styles including brick stitch and tapestry stitch. Much of this appears drawn because the work is executed on cotton gauze. Additionally, there are some extant Indo-Portuguese items such as coverlets, hangings and pillows that were created in India specifically for export to the European markets. Many of these are done in a counted back stitch and are slightly quilted as below.
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