Tuesday, October 12, 2010

Blackwork coif

Here's the "rough draft" of the coif:

I need to add size 9 gold spangles, and roll hem the edges.

I may possibly add some shading, and maybe a few more motifs, although Mistress Cellach has suggested that I add the spangles, and extend some vines, and then see where I am.

Some bulleted documentation:

1. Materials: Gutterman %100 spun silk thread, black; Size 10 steel sharps needle; 3.5 oz. %100 linen (approximately 48 count).

2. Techniques used: double running stitch, french knots, couching, speckle stitch.

3. Motifs: All motifs are tranferred from the 1632 edition of Richard Shorlayker's "A Schole-House for the Needle", except for the spider webs and spiders, which are a creation of the artist.


4. 1. I was inspired to create this coif after finding pictures of "A Schole-house for the Needle" online. Although this edition is dated to 1632, similar motifs are found on extant 16th century shifts housed in the Victoria and Albert's Museum.

5. 2. I drew out the design on paper first, the scrolling single-line recinaux taken from a late 16th century coif housed in the Antonio Ratti Textile Center, of the Metropolitan Museum of Art. I transferred the design using an archival ink pen and a lightbox. The use of ink to lay out embroidery designs is found on extant coifs, and at least one textile housed in the V&A, item T. 88-1925.

6. The stitches are taken from extant examples, including a forehead cloth worked in double running stitch, housed in the Ashmolean Museum, WA 1947.191.320.

7. If additonal motifs are needed to fill, I would like to use some from textile T. 88-1925 from the V&A Museum.


Arnold, Janet. (2008). Patterns of Fashion 4: The cut and construction of linen shirts, smocks, neckwear, headwear, and accessories for men and women c. 1540-1660. London: MacMillan.

Brooks, Mary M. (2004). English Embroideries of the Sixteenth and Seventeenth Centuries in the collection of the Ashmolean Museum. London: Jonathan Horne Publications.

Nevinson, John L. (1938). Catalogue of English Domestic Embroidery of the Sixteenth and Seventeenth Centuries. London: His Majesty's Stationery Office.

Early English books Online: http://www.eebo.chadwyck.com

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