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A Stitch Out of Time

Medieval Embroidery for the Modern Era

Pattern C: A Large Bag.

Place of origin:
Current location:
14th Century.
Victoria and Albert Museum, London. Dress and Textiles Department, Frame I-9, Cat. # 1567-1902.

Physical description:

This is the largest of the three bags I have examined, measuring ten inches by ten inches. The bag is of rectangular shape, as are all of the bags I have examined so far. On each side of the bag, approximately an inch and a half down from the opening, is attached a length of cord (about ten inches long). These cords are not drawstrings, but are either the remains of a carrying loop, now cut; or are there for decoration. The cords (see Appendix B for a discussion of making and attaching cords) are of circular cross section and are made up of large number of strands. There is no indication of a drawstring, but as the embroidery continues up to the lip of the bag, any remaining holes probably would have closed up over time. It is not possible to examine the back of the bag or the lining. It does make sense, based on the other pieces examined, that the other side is similarly decorated. The bag is displayed pressed under glass, so I cannot be sure of the seams. The fold appears to be on the bottom, with the sides sewn up.

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


-Evenweave linen fabric, 28 threads per inch.
-Colored silk floss (Gold - DMC 833, Dark Gold - DMC 831, Red - DMC 498, Purple - DMC 327, White - DMC 746)

BAG2C.GIF, 77k
This is a scan of an example of the stitch.
BAG2.JPG, 94k

Scan of a color photo of the piece

Y003A.JPG, 776k
Also available: Y003A.PDF, 302k
This is the embroidery pattern.