FORAYS INTO MEDIEVAL EMBROIDERY 1250-1450
 
EMBROIDERY PROJECTS (main page)
CROSSEYED AND COLORBLIND
RENAISSANCE AND BAROQUE EXCESSES
 
 
A note of warning ; my previous camera hated red textiles.The reds in 1,2,5,7 and 10 are madder red to deep madder red. Not those garish shades. For a better idea of what the different colors look like, go to the next page for more photos of the embroideries on this page. Seeing them together gives a better impression.
 
A lot of my museum photos of extant embroidery can be seen here ; Extant embroidery
 
 
 
 
1 : Mid to late 14thC pattern / early 15thC possibly. The pattern resembles silk velvet fragments in the V&A. Plant dyed twisted silk on linen.The silk doesn't shine much after the dye job, it is of the same type as used in 2,3 and 6. I am planning on redoing that embroidery in a different silk someday. I suspect that the pattern and colors will look a lot better with shinier silk.
 
 
2 : 12th-15thC pattern. Silk and linen done on linen. The pattern has been around for a while in Germany and Scandinavia. And yes, the linen thread is shinier than the silk. The same silk as used in 1,3 and 6. It looks deceptively easy and it's pretty to look at. I used about twice as long doing the embroidery because I had to keep an eye on the length of almost every stitch. They vary between 2, 4 and 6 linen threads constantly.
 
 
 
 
3 : Plant dyed twisted silk on green tafetta silk. I was experimenting a little. I made it for a friend who likes green. The pattern is a partial copy of a french purse done in gold or gilt thread on brown velvet.
 
 
 
 
4 : Zwicky silk on linen. Never again, but better than cotton floss any day. I still can't force myself to finish it, I grew to hate the thread that much. I started another purse with the same pattern in a chinese silk instead. See below.
 
 
5 : A selection of half done silk embroideries with different types of silk. The second pattern from the left is the same as 4, but done with a chinese silk fairly close to what I have seen on some of the original fragments. The thread is still as shiny after being embroidered as it is untouched on the skein.
 
The second pattern from the left is nearly finished. 3 months after I took this picture, I finally found a color that worked with the rest ; purple... It looks better than you might think, the purple looks brighter than in real life.
 
 
 
6 : Severely concussed , very ill and probably half insane, I go back to my first attempted embroidery pattern. Linen thread is used for white. A plant dyed twisted silk is used for the colored parts. Nice to work with, but not quite correct for reenactment purposes about 14thC. It got me back to embroidery though. The first painless piece I've made.
 
The color combination is a bit iffy when you compare to extant embroideries, but I had 2 shades of that silk. And they worked out quite well.
 
 
7 : For a delayed birthday present for a friend , I made up my first pattern based on patterns and colors I had seen. It looks nice with tassels and all. I managed some crappy photos of the purse before wrapping it up ; Front view , back view, closed up  . Buttonhole silk on linen.
 
The nearly completed embroidery at the back .
 
 
8 : We are back to the Göss vestments again with a vengeance. The color scheme is more of a late 14thC than mid 13thC. At this point I was still using Zwicky. I started running out of Zwicky silk and had to start substituting with chinese silk. I redid all the yellow with a chinese silk after this photo was shot. Pattern wise it's full of mistakes that I choose to see as historically correct.
 
Finished the embroidery ! The completed embroidery before being mounted at some yet undisclosed time in the future....
 
 
 
9 : My second embroidery attempt and with cotton floss too. It's the camera that makes this look shinier than the silks. The background nearly drove me crazy. I covered the whole of the back too.
 
 
10 : I dyed the wool. I spent aggravating hours trying to make the silver look nice. Then I burned the wool fabric of the first sleeve and that was it.I won't be able to get that exact shade again. Plant dyed twisted silk and fake silver gilt thread on silk.
 
 
 
 
11 : Familiar pattern ? An early attempt with wool on unbleached linen. I hate embroidering that pattern, but keep coming back to it.....
 
 
 
 
12 : The embroidery at the top is my second attempt at making a pattern based on medieval color combinations and patterns suggested on pillows of mid 13thC norwegian effigies. Buttonhole silk on linen.
 
The first attempt is below. I suspect I had a thing about medieval crosses at the time, since they were made fairly close to each other in time. Buttonhole silk and linen used on both.
 
The Green, white,gold and turquoise purse finished mounted ; Front view , back view, closed up