Tuesday, 27 October 2009

Norwich Pattern Books * Exhibition Until 20 November 2009 * Talk by Jenny Watts 11 November

There is a very interesting exhibition at the moment displaying Norwich Pattern Books which are fascinating evidence of the 18th century textile industry. The exhibition is in the Long Gallery at the Archive Centre in Martineau Lane, Norwich. It is sometimes difficult to remember the huge role played by Norwich textiles, and not just shawls, throughout the world when Norwich was second city to London. Norwich damasks provided a major component of the Frisian female's costume and there is a Norwich pattern book in the West Fries Museum at Leeuwarden. There is even a Norwich pattern book in Stockholm's Nordiska Museet. On 11 November Jenny Watts will give a lunch time talk: Exploring Records of the Textile Industry in Georgian Norwich. There is no need to book. You can find more information by clicking here.

As you know, I have had a darning weekend. I was fascinated by the textile bands in the Norwich pattern books some of which appeared to have darned motifs. We are not sure whether these flowers were darned or woven in. There is mention of women working beside weavers, introducing runs of wool to build up patterns, but I have yet to understand exactly what that means. Perhaps you can help me. However, I tried to emulate the patterns by darning ribbon bands for myself and really enjoyed the experience. Maybe you would like to try. If you click on the pattern you will get a bigger, workable version on your screen. Here you can see what I did. Not finished again! OK another pin in the black side of the pincushion for me.....

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