Good morning and happy Monday! It’s a bleak and rimy day here in Kansas, with a bit of a winter storm going on. In short, it’s a perfect indoor day!
Over the last few weeks, I’ve been digging about online for old embroidery inspiration, concentrating mostly on early 19th century and before. It’s really unbelievable how much information about early textiles is available online, right at our fingertips, through vast collections of old print material, made digital.
It’s a blessing… and a curse. It’s a blessing, because – wow! We can learn so much and see so much that we otherwise would never see!
It’s a curse, because… well, I call them rabbit holes. Once you head down them, it’s easy to go farther and farther and farther, and it’s hard to crawl back out.
But these online collections are such a good source of inspiration for embroidery and other forms of needlework. So I’d say they’re much more of a blessing than a curse, don’t you think?
One particular collection that is ever worth exploring is this Early Modern Embroidery and Lace Pattern Books collection on Internet Archive.
It is vast. There are many publications there, and the majority of them have patterns for either embroidery or lace (needle lace, mostly).
The term “early modern” can be a little confusing if you’re not used to the eras of art. It’s really not very “modern,” in fact! In art, the early modern period began roughly around the time of the Renaissance and stretched into the 19th century.
So, in this collection, you’ll be looking at publications from (roughly) the 1500’s into the 1800’s. Funny to think there were embroidery publications and pattern collections printed all the way back into the 1500’s – when printing was just barely begun!
And even stranger to think that those publications are at my fingertips, right here in rural Kansas, in 2021! What a wonder!
In any case, just a short little note today to give you something to explore this week, especially if you love historical embroidery and like to find inspiration in the designs of the past!
Have a wonderful day! I’m planning on watching the snow fall, the birds feed, and get a lot of embroidery done. New tutorial coming up soon – keep an eye out for it!