HomeA Stitch Out of TimeThe Astrolabe ProjectArtifactsCeridwen's Blog

A Stitch Out of Time

Medieval Embroidery for the Modern Era

Pattern D: A Fragment of an Embroidered Band.

Place of origin:
Current location:
14th - 15th Century.
Victoria and Albert Museum, London. Dress and Textiles Department, Frame I-9, Cat. # 7048-1860.

Physical description:

Worked on 20 count fabric, this fragment has the 'coarsest' look of the pieces examined. This fragment seems to be the remains of a larger piece, possibly an item of church vestment, though no one can say at this late date. The design on this example shows several differences from the rest of the items in this book. Firstly, there is the extensive use of linen thread in the embroidery. On other pieces where linen is used (see patterns A, F and J), there is a lesser proportion of linen stitching. Secondly, the embroidery on this piece turns back on itself to create areas where the texture of the needlework is what sets the areas apart, not color differences. Finally, on most of the other examples I have studied, the area covered is broken up into geometric panels. For example, the lozenges in patterns B and C. This is not seen here.


-Evenweave linen fabric, 20 threads per inch.
-Plied linen thread (Off-white, DMC 746).
-Colored silk floss (Green - DMC 563, Red - DMC 347)

This is a scan of an example of the stitch.
APP.JPG, 70k

Scan of a color photo of the piece

Pattern Y004A
Y004A.JPG, 692k
Also available: Y004A.PDF, 302k
This is the embroidery pattern.

PROJ3.JPG, 34k
Scan of a photo of a completed project