If you’re looking for a relaxing dive into needlework history this weekend, here’s something for you!
Do you ever delve into exploring something, knowing that you’re going a bit too far in – getting kind of geeky about it?
Well, I do that with old embroidery books (as you have probably figured out by now). I doubt I can count the number of downloaded PDFs of historical embroidery books I have on my computer. I try not to download them and just forget them. I usually transfer one at a time to Dropbox, so I can access it from anywhere while on my phone or tablet. This way, when I have the opportunity, I can explore the book in depth.
Lately, I’ve been perusing a book on the history of embroidery and lace.
This latest book goes under the fantastic title Embroidery and lace; their manufacture and history from the remotest antiquity to the present day. A handbook for amateurs, collectors, and general readers, by Ernest Lefébure. The present day at the time of publication was 1888, so the content gets into the industrial age, too.
There are some good snippets of needlework history in the book so far, and I’m enjoying reading it. Occasionally, I pick out lines I particularly like. And sometimes, I come across bits that strike me as somewhat limited due to the book’s historical context (which is not unusual).
I like this:
In the hands of an able worker, [the needle] is one of the most precious implements that may be used in the service of art.
I also like this particular image from right inside the book:
Whenever I see images like the one above, I think “I have got to get me some slate frames that size…”
And then I think, “…and a room just like that for them to fit in.”
If you are interested in embroidery history, you may indeed enjoy geeking out with this book, too!
If you’d like to find it online, you’ll find it at Internet Archive:
Under “download options” look for PDF. You can download the PDF to your computer or mobile device for leisurely browsing.
I hope you enjoy a fabulous weekend! I’m in catch-up mode, so I’ll be hanging out at the studio most of the time, getting some work done. And since we’ll be sweltering in 100+ degree weather, it ain’t a bad place to be! See you next week…