Saturday, July 28, 2007

Another interlacing stitch tutorial: highly recommended

This is an excellent interlacing stich tutorial by Bhavani:

She calls it Kutchwork or Armenian embroidery.

And this is my own progress so far:

Tuesday, July 17, 2007

Bildindex: interlacing stitch examples

I found some more amazing 14th century whitework pictures in the Bildindex!

This one is so beautiful, WOW, I just keep staring at it:

The borders and the 'giant' flower in the middle are done in interlacing stitch. The free flowing flower design is wonderful and the dragons that bite each other's tail are so funny! I'm actually tempted to change my mind and try this one instead of the Feldbach tablecloth...

I love this elegant design too. The borders might be in interlacing stitch, but the picture is not so clear, so I can't really tell..

The stars in this fragment might be interlacing stitch too, but the picture is not clear enough..

My own progress in doing interlacing stitch is still slow... I can do a straight line, but I seem to get lost when I try to make lines that cross each other. I decided to try some of the designs on this site to have some more practice.

Wednesday, July 11, 2007

Medieval tablerunners: do they exist?

I don't know ... :-)

In the previous post, Jerusha asked me about it, and I've been wondering about it myself too. Up till now, I've got more questions than answers.

Judging by the size of them, some tablecloths could be tablerunners.

This 13th century tablecloth is 670 cm x 109 cm:

This one from the 14th century is 105 cm x 308 cm

Both pictures are taken from this paper:

Das Tafeltuch vom 13. zum 20. Jahrhundert,
von Anne Wanner-JeanRichard, in: der gedeckte Tisch, zur Geschichte der Tafelkultur, von Andreas Morel,
Zürich 2001, 216 S., 265 Abbildungen, ISBN 3-0340-0506-7

There is some literature about how these were made, who made them and who owned them. I haven't found anything yet about how they were used..

Did people use these embroidered tablecloths during dinner?

If so,
did they put the plates and dishes straight onto the embroidery or were they used as decorative tablerunners with another (bigger) tablecloth underneath?
how do you clean a linen tablecloth embroidered with linen and silk? A linen tablecloth with linen embroidery can be put on a bleach field, but that will damage the silk...

The website of the French National Library contains an interesting slide show with illuminations of late medieval people having dinner. You can see that the tablecloths are large, cover the whole table and hang from the sides of the table, sometimes reaching the floor. The embroidered tablecloths discussed above are not wide enough to cover the sides of the table...

Any feedback/ideas/suggestions are welcome!

Wednesday, July 4, 2007

Whitework tablecloths in Swiss Landesmuseum, Zurich

The online picture database of the Swiss Landesmuseum in Zurich contains 4 pictures of tablecloths from the period 1200-1600.

According to Jenny Schneider, this is the oldest known whitework tablecloth, dating from 1200-1250.

Tablecloth 1200-1250

This is a very elegant tablecloth from the first half of the 15th century:

Tablecloth 1400-1450

This one is very funny: an early 16th century tablecloth embroidered with food and cutlery:

Tablecloth 1527

And one from 1561 embroidered with biblical scenes:

Tablecloth 1561

If for some reasons the links don't work, go to the homepage of the online catalogue and insert "tischdecke", German for tablecloth. (the site is in German, French and Italian, but unfortunately not in English):

These books include more detailed pictures and descriptions of these tablecloths:

Schneider, J. (1972), Schweizerische Leinenstickereien, Bern: Verlag Paul Haubt
Trudel, V. (1954), Schweizerische Leinenstickereien des Mittelalters und der Renaissance. Bern: Paul Haubt Verlag

Monday, July 2, 2007

Whitework tablecloths: two other examples

I don't have time to do much embroidery these days, so I'd like to share with you some inspiring pictures from the Bildindex. I'm not so good with links, but I double checked these, so they should be working :-)

This is a 14th century German tablecloth that I really like. I love the geometrical pattern and the fringe is beautiful. I know from the catalogue description that the Feldbach tablecloth has fringe too. I've never seen a picture of it, but it might look like this:

Another favorite of mine is this tablecloth with a very delicate pelican design. The fragment is very small, so the embroidery must be really fine. The geometrical border (see top of the picture) is beatiful too.

This is a close-up: