One of the favorite artists of me and my friends is a designer who got inspired by pre-Raphaelite William Morris (24 March 1834 — 3 October 1896). His patterns are very, very similar to... you might have already guessed whose works will be discussed.
It's Crewel. The first time I saw his embroidery I thought it was another series of drawings by William Morris. The nickname 'Crewel' may seem strange, but actually it's a translation from an old Welsh word 'cruell' which simply means 'wool'. Cruel was a fashionable fad in this or that country at different times. There are still some old pictures of needlewomen enthusiastically embroidering Crewel's patterns.
If you go deeper in history, you may find that woolen embroidery originated in the East (Japan or India), exitsted in Egypt, Ancient Greece and Rome. One of the most ancient well-preserved European pieces of embroidery is the famous Tapestry of Bayeux dated 11th century AC, wool on linen canvas, 53 cm x 68,38 m. Now it is in a museum in France.
What inspired Crewel to create these recognizable patterns, flowers, birds, fruits, fancy plants and other patterns? That was the Jacobean embroidery that came in fashion in the 16th century with an overall Indian textile craze:
Crewel influenced American fashion, and a special white and blue style appeared there:
To see more patterns by Crewel, I'd recommend you to read Erica Wilson, Susan Swan, Mildred Davis and Elsa Williams, Betty Ring. Choose your favorite pattern to create your own masterpieces that will warm you in rainy autumn days!
Thank you for attention! :)