Wednesday, 27 October 2010

Hand Embroidery

Embroidery, (by hand, that is), is one of my favourite types of stitching.

All hand sewing is far more attractive to me than machine sewing, because there's so much more variety, and so much more to learn, but hand embroidery is the thing I like the best.

It could be because I started to embroider when I was very young.  I was around two years old.  I was apparently an annoying, curious child, so my Nana sat me down with a needle and thread to keep me from sticking my fingers into sockets, or the fire, etc, etc.

Or it could be because there's just so much to learn - there are so many different types of embroidery, and so many individual stitches, that it would take a lifetime or longer to master them all.

Or it could be that embroidery doesn't serve any real purpose.  Embroidery isn't really functional, or utilitarian.  It's a frippery - it's entirely decorative.  A beautiful thing that serves no other real purpose other than to be beautiful!

I like that. 

Anyway, all of that said, my latest piece of embroidery does serve a purpose.  It's a medieval (Wars of the Roses) livery badge.

This one is stitched in silk embroidery floss, on a linen ground (the backing fabric).  The body of the badge is done entirely in split stitch, and the outline and detail in back stitch.

This is currently on display alongside an original metal badge of the time, at Wakefield Museum, in their exhibition 'The Battle of Wakefield', which is open Tuesday - Saturday, 10.30am - 4.30pm.  It's on till the 29th January 2011.

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