Alison Cole, embroideress, lives in Victoria (Australia) and creates embroidery techniques for gold and volume works. She is a designer and a teacher.
Crewel Work Company has created upon Alison Cole`s design "17th Century Gentleman's Cap" in the form of a panel and three separate Christmas ornaments (or pincipal) patterns, which repeated some elements of the design. The motif for the design was taken, adapted and embroidered from an authentic 17th century gentleman's night cap, presented in the collection of the Shakespeare Birthplace Trust Museum in Stratford-upon-Avon.
Here are the night caps with embroidery which noble people wore at that time.
"The peak of floral embroidery started during the reign of Queen Elizabeth.
Queen Elizabeth I (1533-1603) became a big fan and popularizer of this type of needlework. Among the English nobility it was customary to give souvenirs decorated with embroidery, and the most popular among them were small bags, richly embroidered with silk and metal threads, which were purchased from professional embroiderers for great sums of money. In their manufacture stitches were
raised above the fabric in order to give the embroidery an extra texture and volume. Metal threads of gold and silver made its value even higher," writes Lena magazine.
"In 1561, Queen Elizabeth I approved the Statute of the Embroiderers` Guild, which had a long name of "the Keepers and Wardens and Society of the Art and Mystery of the Broderers of the City of London". These artisans (only men) were engaged in embroidery of large-scale canvases. After the completion of each part of great work, they provided embroidery to the court of the members of the Guild," writes Irina Petrenko.
Alison Cole chose materials for the embroidery specifically similar in quality and properties inherent in the original 17th century. The fabric for "Elizabethan" sewing was designed specifically for this kit: the raw material was grown, then the thread was made, from which the fabric was woven to the density and strength of the original linen of the 17th century. The fabric had been washed twice in order to achieve the desired shade of color and no bleach or other chemicals have been used in the process. In the process of embroidery, I noticed that it was quite dense and did not follow the needle, it was smooth and very pleasant to work with.
Shakespeare's pink rose briars and strawberries, depicted on Christmas decorations, make an exquisite kit for needlework, requiring skill in performance of traditional Elizabethan stitches and methods. The design uses traditional Elizabethan embroidery stitches: Elizabethan Detached Corded Buttonhole Stitch, Fishbone Stitch, Outline Stitch, Seeding Stitch, Woven spider's Web, Larks Head Ladder Stitch, Raised Stem Stitch, Elizabethan Plaited Braid Stitch, Interlaced Straight Stitch, Reversed Chain Stitch.
Admire the designs!
Thanks for reading!