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Crewelwork

Crewelwork

Jacqui MacDonald

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$13.65

Exquisite and timeless, the needlework portrayed in these guides promotes the Royal School of Needlework's mission to keep the art of hand embroidery alive in the 21st century. .

The Royal School of Needlework teaches hand embroidery to the highest standard, developing techniques in new and innovative ways. This book includes an extensive stitch guide, covering all the stitches necessary for crewel embroidery, a design section, and a history of the Royal School itself. Although it is commonly thought of as a woven tapestry, the Bayeux Tapestry is in fact the oldest surviving example of crewelwork.

The illustrations on the piece tell the story of the events leading up to the Norman Conquest, and are embroidered on to the linen surface with a two-ply worsted wool. Laid stitches (see page 43) were used for the characters and scenery; couching (see page 60) for outlines and stem stitch (see page 58) to define detail and to render the lettering. Worsted wools are thought to have originated in the farming village of Worstead in Norfolk. This native resource, most appropriate to the British climate, was manufactured into clothing and became one of Britain's most successful industries.

To this day the inhabitants of Worstead continue the tradition of spinning, dyeing and weaving fleece from local sheep. Although primarily spun to produce woollen cloth, at some point it became popular to use this yarn to embroider. At first, monochrome motifs stitched in wool, with a small number of different stitches, such as stem and seeding, (see page 50) were the most common, but embroidered curtains and bed hangings that resembled designs inspired by woodcut prints are known.

Foreign trade created by Elizabeth I, initially devised to bring back valuable spices, found a foothold in Northern India where English merchants picked up coffee in Mocha and cloth in Gujarat. Egyptian trade was found to be profitable as they too welcomed cotton cloth in exchange for silver, which reduced the drain on English silver, while the Persians provided a market for the English woollens. Inevitably some of these Indian and African fabrics made it back to Europe, where they were well-received. Pampalores and pintadoes, painted calicos that came to be known in England as chintz, were produced on the Coromandel coast of India and became very popular in the now-furnished households of Britain. By the late seventeenth century, cheap, washable cotton cloth and luxurious woven silks were in huge demand and contributed to the changing fashions in Britain

Additional Information

Author Jacqui MacDonald
Publisher Search Press
Publication date 1 Feb 2011
Format Spiral bound
ISBN/EAN 9781844485505

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