Posted by Tilde Binger on September 29, 1997 at 04:18:36:
In response to Embroidery, written by Caroline on September 25, 1997 at 10:56:42
] Tilde, thank you so much for both informative posts!
You are welcome.
] What you decribe in the schools and the households of Denmark shows a marked similarity with what went on generally in England In Victoria's reign.There is a wealth of material on the education of girls, and techniques for needlework from about 1830 onwards, but not nearly so much before. However, perhaps that is because there wasn't a great deal of difference?
I don't think (think is the important word here, since I don't know) there was. Samplers (both knitted and sown) show a remarkable similarity over what we would consider long stretches of time. Look at the samplers (knitted and sown) from before 1830 and compare them to samplers from after. The differences are few.
I have at home 2 samplers, sown by my great-grand-mother and her mother (1849 and 1873) and they are so alike in their lay-out and choise of materials. But the daughters is hardly copied from the mothers, since a new type of lettering came into vogue between the two, and the daughter's sampler shows these letters whereas the mothers don't.
Likewise, when I visit museums and see pieces that are 50-100 years older, they lay-out, choise of materials and stiches are for the major part the same. Here and there one sees a new fashion (like the letter-types), in choise of pictures (when they carry pictures), colours or a specific type of stich used sparingly, but the general impression is, that samplers hardly changed over the period from 1775 to 1925.
The same holds true for most fine embroidery. Another item in my drawers is the sunday-cap my great-grandmother wore. It is of black silk and embroidered with gold and silver tread. The national-museum in Denmark has it's twin (not identical, but very close), only the one in the museum is 75 years older than mine.
When it comes to the "fashionable" stiches, I should think the information is fairly easy to obtain, since it is the new fashions that get the press, so any new or fashionable way of embroidery, lacing etc. would be found in the fashion magazines of the day as well as on the fancy dresses found in museums.
What did change, after Austen, whas the chemical dyes that came on the market in the latter half of the 19th. c. Colours were much more muted in JA's time than in ours, and particularly the bright yellows and very clear blues and pinks that we take for granted would not be found then. Another change was that cotton became more and more accesible and took over from both wool and linen in a lot of areas in the wake of the industrial revolution (which is around Austen-times, i.e. before, during and after JA).
I think (!) that if one wants to re-create regency embroidery, the problem would not so much be in the types of stiches, but much more in the choice of materials and colours.
Oh, and BTW, thank you for letting me ride one of my hobby-horses, this is fun.
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