Wednesday, 31 May 2017

18th Century Whitework Embroidered Muslin Piece

In a job-lot of lace that I bought a few weeks ago, I came across another fragment of 18th century whitework:-

18th Century Chain-Stitch Embroidery Fragment

It very much looks to me like part of an apron, from the last quarter of the 18th century. The overall effect is simple and very demure, so fine and delicate. The fine thread is worked in a chain stitch.

The motifs we have here are bows, simple flower heads and leaves, but also more interesting and when you look closely, very changeable shapes representing, fruits: strawberries, pomegranates and maybe peaches. These have been placed where the lines intersect one another. These motifs have the wonderfully fine drawn-thread work, such incredibly minute stitches. The design and motifs style point to c.1770-1800.

When we look at the close-up images, we can see the tiny chain stitches (not using a tambour hook), and pulled thread work. I do like the tiny holes which have been incorporated into the simple flowers and groups of leaves.

C.1770-1800. Details of Chain-Stitch Embroidery with Drawn Thread Work

The slightly scalloped edge is a little difficult to make out, but pulling it out a little way, and using my trusty magnifier, the very outside edge looks like a fine, narrow bobbin lace edging (which would have been sewn on), then there is a wider section of less tidy straight stitch, possibly padded, then one row of chain stitch. 

I have just purchased a c.1780s whitework muslin apron as it happens, and am bursting to see it! :)

Naomi xx