Embroidery, much like fabric, is not made to last forever. So when we are looking for examples of historical textiles, sometimes, they simply do not exisit anymore as the fabrics disintergrate with age and use. However we do still have a source of what textiles might have looked like in their glory days in the form of painting.
During a recent trip to Amsterdam in the Rijksmuseum, we came across some wonderful examples of historical painting which showed great detail of the textiles that they protrayed.
most likely showing a print of Japanese origin
Demonstrating the fineness and whiteness of her flat lace collar
Depicting traditional goldwork techniques and bullion fringing
We also have had one of our interns, Amy Pickard working on a project for us in house where she chose a painting which featured a beautiful piece of textiles and has been working to recreate it herself.
For the project, she starting point with a visit to the National and National Portrait Galleries. Here she collected primary research of examples of historical textiles. There was a lot of symmetry and geometric shapes as well as a heavy use of floral motifs. It was wonderful to see so many paintings with gorgeous details and being able to name techniques documented.
Having attended a tambour beading class with our partner company, (London Embroidery School) she decided to recreate one of the motifs using this technique.