Antique English 18th Century Crewel Work Crewelwork Embroidery Fragments Framed
During the 17th and early 18th century the fashion for interiors was heavily embroidered, coverings, cushions, hangings and tapestries. Trade with the East India Company provided new and exotic raw materials as well as finished silks. The western world fell in love with these far eastern, exotic designs and wanted to replicate them by the needle. Hence the start of the crewel embroidery phenomena. Crewel embroidery was the ideal stitch to cover large expanses of ground fabric quickly and easily. The vivid two ply worsted/ Persian wool threads gave an opulent appearance, as well as being warm on the four poster beds and keeping out English cold draughts. Many articles were embroidered using this technique both for the court and domestic interiors. Clothing also used the crewel designs on pockets, petticoats, hats and jackets. The dyes used to color the wool were plant and mineral dyes.
Our example shows the very finest of crewelwork embroidery. The 1.5" wide flowers are so ornate with many colors incorporated in each flower. The original design on this woven cotton ground was just three central columbine flowers stitched directly on the fabric. Other buds and leaves have been carefully salvaged from other parts of the same garment and applied to where ever space would allow on this 5.25" by 3.75" rectangle. We have removed the backing from the frame to examine the applied leaves and flowers. They have been glued to the original woven ground.Not really the best way to handle such ancient needlework, sewing them on would have been much better.
The antique frame measures 7" by 5.5". Condition As stated this is a montage of embroidery taken from the same garment. The colors are amazingly good and not faded. The cotton woven ground has some age discoloration and was probably the reason for the salvage job in areas where it has completely perished.
A good way of acquiring a 300 year old textile albeit as a salvaged survivor. It makes one wonder who originally wrought this piece, let alone who wore it? Could they ever have imagined that their embroidery work would survive the centuries???
Please view our other ancient textiles, needleworks and embroideries. Small fragments look STUNNING when grouped together.
Item ID: TA071186
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