Thursday, 17 October 2013
Vivian tells us that in the time of Charles II, haberdashers and travelling chapmen were by now selling emblems and motifs already made up on a plain silken or linen ground. These 'slips' were cut out and applied with stitching to the scene needlewomen were sewing for their stump-work panels and furnishings, elevating the design with a professional skill the ladies might not have accomplished without help.
Unfortunately, Vivian gives no references for us to follow up this information. Many of the panels I have examined show underdrawings which have been embroidered in situ. I have always thought that panels such as Vivian's illustrations were motifs scavenged from worn or damaged panels.
As part of a tour in Scotland one Easter, I was able to pop in to Traquair House. There I saw panels of petit point slips densely laid out - their outlines interlocking. At the time I wondered if they were ever meant to be separated and applied individually as embellishments to furnishings as Margaret Swain tells us they were. And if they were meant to be separated, then why weren't they? Again was this some example of a local estate industry? I would love to have your contributions to this mystery - whether you are adding more issues or providing evidence to solve them.
Posted by N E E D L E P R I N T at 19:30