Slabbinck is a world-renowned embroidery house in Belgium and a supplier of embroidered church goods world-wide. The history of the company is an interesting one, and their collection of embroidered items from their workshop in the early years is amazing!
Hendrik Slabbinck began his workshop in 1903, in his attic. Since then, despite the troubled years of both world wars, the company has survived for over 100 years, and it still produces embroidered church goods. What fascinates me, though, are the early embroideries that come from the Slabbinck workshops, and the early history of the company.
During World War II, for example, in order to keep his embroiderers from being drafted into the German war effort, Slabbinck worked with the cathedral of Bruges, which placed “fake” orders for embroidered pieces, some of them extremely labor intensive, so that the workshop would appear to be flush with orders and extremely busy. The embroideries that were executed by the embroiderers in the Slabbinck workshop during this time are incredible!
To learn a little more about the company’s history and to see some of their early embroideries, I think it’s well worth it to watch this short video:
(E-mail subscribers can visit the website to view the video.)
During the past week, I’ve watched the video several times over, pausing to look at the different embroideries. Unfortunately, the video is not very clear, but we can still get a good idea of the skill and artistry of these embroiderers. I’d love to see the pieces in person! But… we take what we can get!
I hope you enjoy this little glimpse of a piece of needlework history!