Friday, 21 June 2013

Needlework from the Brain-Watkins Textile Collection

Figure 1 Table Runner 103cmx33cm

With few outside distractions for their amusement, the Brain girls developed skills in many different media. They painted; they made many of their own clothes, created fine hats, and embroidered beautiful fabrics.  This sample of needlework is one of the many pieces belonging to the Brain-Watkins collection, presently on display in the master bedroom.

Figure 2 Close up of needlework

The medium is Irish Linen, and the edging is commercial Reticella lace –or tape – worked with a fairly coarse thread (1), attached to the embroidery with a Hedebo stitch (2). The main body of the work is needle lace of Hedebo type. Two large areas of the surface embroidery are cut from the cloth and in filled with needle weaving. These two areas are linked with drawn-thread work.

1. D.M.C. Encyclopaedia of Needlework p 611
2. Weldons Dictionary of Embroidery

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