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Wednesday, February 28, 2007

Treasures from the Embroiderers' Guild, Part 1

Our class went on a 'field trip' (as Wombat always calls them - too much American TV!) to the Embroiderers' Guild (Vic) last week to view some of their 2,000 pieces of embroidery, lace, etc. These are pictures of an Ayrshire christening robe which was the first ever acquisition for the collection. It was exquisite. The pointed insertion on the bodice was recycled from an earlier garment, as it is a totally different style from the rest of the whiteework. It is early nineteenth century, from Ayrshire in Scotland, where unemployed hand weavers who had been superceded by machines taught themselves these new skills to earn an income. Sadly this only lasted for about fifty years until someone invented a machine that could do whitework! The gown was a pristine white - the first photo looks yellow because it is hard photographing textiles without a flash and for some reason my software fiddling either didn't work on that one, or I plain forgot.
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