Sunday, 5 February 2012

Whitework in the 18th century

Spent yesterday afternoon at a WECS meeting where noted collector and author Heather Toomer spoke on the fashion for white work accessories in the 18th century, especially aprons, kerchiefs and sleeve ruffles. I must admit I knew little about so called Dresden work, also known as point de Saxe, before Heather’s beautifully illustrated lecture.  This is white embroidery on white semi transparent muslin, and sometimes in imitation of the laces of the time. Heather covered the changing styles in this kind of work from 1700 to 1800. She also looked at opaque whitework, on gentlemen's waistcoats and ladies stomachers. At the end I purchased a copy of her book Embroidered with white (ISBN 978 0 9542730 2 6) which contains many of the photographs from her talk, and some patterns for stomachers, pockets and kerchiefs which could be useable by anyone with the skill to do this incredibly detailed work. Heather brought along two tables worth of original items from her collection, and the stitchery on some is minute.

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