Embroidery frames

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Christabel
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Embroidery frames

Post by Christabel »

In Medieval pictures embroiderers work on a cloth ground stretched inside a rectangular frame. Can anyone tell me when a circular frame became more generally used? Thanks!

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Post by Merlon. »

Tambour Hoops are 18th century so far as I can tell.
References start to crop up in the 1770s

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Post by Tuppence »

Proper embroidery is still done on a rectangular frame, witht he work stitched to it - now known as a slate frame.

Keeps your work in a much better condition than a round frame - I wouldn't use a round frame for anything that I expect to take longer than a day.
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Post by sally »

I find the inside bit of the round frames really useful for reblocking flat caps (statute caps and scots bonnets for example) after washing:) Sorry, totally offtopic, but a useful thing to bear in mind if you ever have to wash something horrible off a flat cap :lol:

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Post by Christabel »

No, that's what I like about this Forum - there's such a wealth of experience and expertise out there!
I found a rectangular frame in a charity shop and was thinking about taking out the metal screws and replacing them with pegs like in a woodcut I've seen, but it won't do, it still would look too modern. So my next question is, does anyone sell them? (And would that person be at Tewkesbury in the summer?!)

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Post by Nigel »

Simon Dunn sold Debs the 20+ or so it seems she has :D and yes he trades at Tewks
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Post by Tuppence »

hey - I only have one authenti one - the rest are modern - the authenti one has my icon on it, which I may finish sometime this year (as have a plan to do with it, but that's another story).

anyway - yes, simopn dunn - history in the making - fabulous frames - assorted sizes, and can make them to order if you want a particular size (*sigh* one day I will get one of the table type...)
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Post by gregory23b »

Christabel - haev you got the British Museum Medieval Craftsman series, the Embroiders? a few nice pics of frames, one on the cover, rather large.

Would suggest commissioning a carpenter to make the frame, that way you can use it wherever, in the modern world and medieval one. one set of tools as it were.
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Post by Karen Larsdatter »

gregory23b wrote:Christabel - haev you got the British Museum Medieval Craftsman series, the Embroiders? a few nice pics of frames, one on the cover, rather large.
The one on the cover is Bezalel and Oholiab making a tabernacle for the Ark of the Covenant, from the Paduan Bible Picture Book. Here's two more pictures of embroiderers with embroidery-frames: A few others at http://larsdatter.com/sewingkits.htm showing what appears to be embroidery, but without any frames at all.

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Post by gregory23b »

that s the one
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Post by Christabel »

Yes, thanks, Gregory, that's where I got the idea of the frame being pegged as one of the illustrations shows pegs standing proud of the frame. Although I bet they catch on your sleeve as you sew.

I was interested by the silk weaver from the German source, as behind him stands a woman with what something round, unless it was a cushion! Great sites, Karen.

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Post by Tuppence »

speaking from a practical point of view, you're dead right on the pegs - they'd need to be adjustable, or you'd need a different frame for every differently sized piece of work.

to be honest, other than now being made by machine (obv) proper embroidery frames haven't really changed that much...
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Post by Mark Sanderson »

I can't work out what the lady in the silk embroiderer picture is doing, but the ladies in the garden that are working on cushions look as if they may be working lace.
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Post by Tuppence »

woman with pink skirt definitely making bobin lace (you can see the bobbins) - green skirt & blue skirt embroidering on differently sized frames - not certain with rust skirt women - seems to be embroidering (the work is coloured, whereas most lace of that period is white(ish) or metallic), but over a cushion, which is obv tradtionally for lace.
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Post by Tuppence »

bobbin lace obv - not needle lace, cos that's quite differnt.
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Post by Karen Larsdatter »

Forgot another image of an embroidery-frame -- this detail from The Triumph of Minerva fresco at Palazzo Schifanoia, c. 1476-1484. (It shows the pegs & holes on the frame, as well as a clever sort of trestle support for the frame.)

For more images of bobbin-lace-making, see http://larsdatter.com/lacemakers.htm

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Post by Tuppence »

obviously, although interesting, this is all irrelevant to you christabel, since you were asking about medieval stuff

sorry

:oops:
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Post by Christabel »

Ah, well, I'm actually interested in the 16th century, but was using the Medieval Embroiderers book as a starting point... And anyway, the whole subject is very interesting, which before I got into Living History I would never have found myself saying! :D

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Post by gregory23b »

IIRC the wall painting of the ladies is late 15thc? Italian.

I have a strong suspicion that the mechanics of large broderie frames wont have changed drastically in the 16thc - but don't quote me on that. You will find much more info re the 16thc, aren't there some embroidery treatises of the era flying about?
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Post by Karen Larsdatter »

gregory23b wrote:You will find much more info re the 16thc, aren't there some embroidery treatises of the era flying about?
Yah -- a few. :lol: Mostly they're patternbooks (or modelbuchs), but at least the frontispiece will often have a picture of embroiderers at work (like John Taylor's The Needles Excellency or Rosina Fuerst's Neues Modelbuch). A few are available in facsimile editions -- the ones I've got include Nicolas Bassée's New Modelbuch (1568) and Johan Sibmacher's Schön Neues Modelbuch (1597), but there are some good ones published in England in the early 17th century that seem to reflect late 16th century fashions (Richard Shorleyker's Schole-House for the Needle and the Thomas Trevelyon Miscellany).

Oh, that reminds me -- another 16th century embroidery picture, though the only online version I can remember is a partial redraw at http://www.wymarc.com/asoot/german/stit ... rticle.php -- I want to say there's a better version (with all four embroiderers) in one of the Thomasina Beck books, probably The Embroiderer's Story: Needlework from the Renaissance to the Present Day (the first chapter of which would be another good overview for information about embroidery and embroiderers in 16th century England).

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Post by gregory23b »

See, Aunty Karen knew ;-)
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Post by Karen Larsdatter »

gregory23b wrote:See, Aunty Karen knew ;-)
Hee! I only got one niece, and I'm pretty sure you ain't her. :P

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Post by Christabel »

Thanks- I've been off-line thanks to my lovely so-called service provider, and have only just managed to pick up the last messages. :(

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Bucket
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slate frame

Post by Bucket »

the royal school of needlwork do a beech slate frame. Check there website for the frame.
http://www.royal-needlework.co.uk/acata ... Frame.html

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Post by Christabel »

Well, since my last posts, I have "aged" my slate frame until such time as I can get to a fair, and lashed (sorry - stitched) my linen to it. It looks quite good! But then I tried to do something which Holbein did when copying pictures - I copied a pattern onto v.thin paper and pricked holes in it, then dusted it with soot to leave the trace of the pattern on the cloth.
Guess what?
It didn't work. :oops:
Which is probably because I'm being daft. Has anyone done this properly - and successfully?
Should my carefully ground-up soot be made damp?
Or is this a brilliant way of simply making a mess?

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Post by Heloise »

Hi - I have done pricking and pouncing successfully. I found the hardest bit was keeping the paper still on the cloth! I used quite substantial paper and put in holes c.5mm apart. I used ground charcoal for the powder. A piece a wool was scrunched up, dipped in the charcoal and pressed quite firmly on the paper, which as I said, kept trying to move about to ruin the line. Once done, I removed the paper carefully and had a little row of dots which I joined up with a charcoal stick to form the outline for the embroidery. Then sewed it the frame. That was all really - probably doesn't help much
:lol:

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Post by Tuppence »

I've done it successfully as well, with charcoal (for light fabrics) and chalk and cuttlefish (separately) for darker fabrics.

Best way to do it is to make a little linen bag (just by cuttong a round of linen, gathering it and tying some string or something round the top. Is called a pounce bag, cos the charcoal or cuttlefish or whatever is your pounce, obv.

Before you tie up the top, fill it with the powdered whatever (dry - definitely dry - damp won't work well).

The when you've got your picture with the holes, weight it down at the edges (though you can stitch round the edges too), and pound the little bag over the holes.

Then join the dots! I find an indelible fineliner to be the best thing to use - though in medieval times it would've been ink.
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Post by gregory23b »

As 2d says, the pouncing process is the same for picture transfer as it is for embroiderers.

You can use other powders if you want less contrast, eg red ochre or yellow ochre, again put into a bag as 2d says.

"though in medieval times it would've been ink."

Who has been reading her Cenninni then? ;-)
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Post by Christabel »

Well, that's good to know I wasn't wildly off the mark. Thanks all. I can only think that my pattern was too complicated, which meant that the holes were just too close togther.
Have you considered writing a book on such matters for new re-enactors or lone experimenters like me? "Pouncing for Dummies" or "A Stitch in Time" (groan - sorry...) :)

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Post by Tuppence »

Who has been reading her Cenninni then?
Looking at originals - it's astonishing how often the pattern was drawn wrong and re-drawn, and the mistakes either left or gone over with different threads.
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