Mary Corbet

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I learned to embroider when I was a kid, when everyone was really into cross stitch (remember the '80s?). Eventually, I migrated to surface embroidery, teaching myself with whatever I could get my hands on...read more

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Society Silk Embroidery – A Beautiful Resource


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Lately, you’ve seen a few mentions of Society Silk embroidery – also called Silk Art embroidery, needle painting, thread painting, silk shading, and … on and on – here on Needle ‘n Thread. The box of vintage needlework supplies (including silk threads and stamped linens from the early part of the 20th century) was, for me, a catalyst for further explorations into Society Silk. I also featured some of these historic needlework items in my give-away a couple weeks ago. Since then, it’s been a case of Silk-Art-Embroidery-on-the-Brain.

Needless to say, then, I was super-duper delighted when a reader left a comment directing me to her Flickr page that is jam-packed full of 192 photos of Society Silk embroidery! Oh, wow! I was in Silk-Shaded Heaven.

Society Silk Embroidery Images on Flickr

This particular collection on Flickr includes color plates from books published by silk companies and now in the public domain. The collector has put her images together in one place, so that the rest of us can meander through some really gorgeous examples of silk shading and other embroidery in silk.

Society Silk Embroidery Images on Flickr

Even if nothing else in the collection thrills you to the tips of your toes (a scenario which is highly unlikely!), then this embroidered peacock surely will. It is… it’s – amazing.

Society Silk Embroidery Images on Flickr

While you’re meandering around Embroiderist’s Flickr collection, make sure to click on Embroidery Collection, which will take you to a more general page that includes all her collections related to embroidery. Beware, though – you might spend hours browsing! There are heaps of vintage designs there!

Society Silk Embroidery Images on Flickr

I hope you enjoy browsing the Embroiderist’s collections – and thank you, Embroiderist, for commenting on Needle ‘n Thread and posting your link! I thought it was far too good a source of inspiration to leave it lost in the comments – hope you don’t mind the write-up!


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(17) Comments

  1. I've found my way to this site several times as well. It's wonderful and isn't that peacock spectacular? It's a lovely place to spend a few hours.

    Society silk on the brain, eh? Join the club! 🙂

  2. Wow! Someof these gems brought me right back to my grandmother's house many, many years ago.

    Thanks for sharing!

  3. Oooh! Pretty pretty, Mary! You know… reading your blog so easily becomes a time sink as I flit to the wonderful places you recommend to me… But… so… so… wonderful!

  4. Thank you Mary! I love love love this sort of thing! Shame I have to go to work now, I could lose myslef in these for hours!

  5. Hi again. no I don't mind. the whole point of putting things online is to share. but eep 4000 hits in less than a day!

  6. Love this beautiful embroidery. Please let me know if there is a book on teaching this fine embroidery. Thank you, Pat/Texas

    1. Hi, Pat – Society Silk embroideries were worked primarily in needlepainting or long and short stitch shading. So any book on silk shading, needlepainting, or long and short stitch shading (it goes by a lot of names!) will do the trick. If you’re completely new to this type of embroidery, Clare Hanham’s Beginner’s Guide to Silk Shading is a great place to start. Here’s my review of it: https://needlenthread.wpengine.com/2007/10/book-review-beginners-guide-to-silk.html

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