Wednesday, 7 April 2010
The most favoured lighting for stitching is natural daylight. Today, as in the past, many women take their stitching or lace-making out of doors on fine day. When the day is not so fine, and the light is less than bright - well that is what bay windows were invented for! There is an old saying that the English love their oriel windows and it is true. The light provided was also a servant to vanity and if you walk up and down any bay-windowed avenue of houses, you will probably see the upstairs window blocked by the mirror of a dressing table. Sitting in a bay surrounded on three sides by window, there is plenty of light for stitching and reading in the day time. But what about the dusk and evening?
The answer for most would be that it was the signal to put away stitching and enjoy singing, cards or pleasant conversation. But for those who had to stitch, because their household economy depended upon it - what then? There was candle light and rush light. Both could be focused through a water filled glass ball to give a brighter beam, and this is the arrangement in the first picture above, the light of which could be shared by 4 lace-makers. Also there were glass lamps, seen in the second picture, which could be filled with oil and a wick lit.
Posted by N E E D L E P R I N T at 19:29