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A Stitch Out of Time

Medieval Embroidery for the Modern Era

Pattern B: A Heraldic Fragment.

Place of origin:
Current location:
14th Century.
Victoria and Albert Museum, London. Dress and Textiles Department, Frame I-8, Cat. # 859-1899.

Physical description:

This fragment is in relatively good condition, with the edges straight, even and square. What remains measures four inches wide by three and a half inches high. All this leads me to guess that it was originally part of a bag. The size and shape are right, being similar in proportion to the three intact bags I have studied (Patterns A, C, and J).

The pattern is composed of two animal figures, an eagle and a lion, alternating in a repeating pattern. These were possibly of some heraldic significance to the original owner. The eagle in particular is a popular German motif, widely used from the time of the Emperor Charlemagne (768-814)[11]

This item was worked using the doubled brick stitch described in the introduction to this section.


-Evenweave linen fabric, 52 threads per inch.
-Colored silk floss (Blue - DMC 519, Black - DMC 310, Green - DMC 580, White - DMC White, Cream - DMC Ecru)


This is a scan of an example of the stitch.

Scan of a color photo of the fragment

Pattern Y001A
Y002A.JPG, 620k
Also available: Y002A.PDF, 355k
This is the embroidery pattern.



[11] Mary E. Jones, A History of Western Embroidery. (New York: Watson-Guptill, 1969). p. 106.