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A Stitch Out of Time

Medieval Embroidery for the Modern Era

Appendix A: Tables

The V&A Picture Library

The Victoria and Albert Museum maintains an extensive library of black and white photographs of the items in their collection. Most items are represented, and copies are available for sale. As of December 1995 the price of a print was L7.00 (Sterling) not including postage and packing. The address is:
V&A Picture Library
Victoria and Albert Museum
South Kensington, London SW7 2RL
United Kingdom
The negative numbers for the items in this article are listed in Table 1:
Table 1:
Negative numbers for items discussed in this article
Pattern Name Catalog # Description Negative #
GEMB01.GIF 8699-1863 A tasseled bag GF.6314
GEMB02.GIF 859-1899 A heraldic fragment FE.1979
GEMB03.GIF 1567-1902 A large bag 75885
GEMB04.GIF 7048-1860 An embroidered band GF.6312
GEMB05.GIF 7093-1860 Dancing figures FE.1980
GEMB06.GIF 7016-1860 Part of a stole 67302
GEMB07.GIF 7071-1860 A banded fragment GF.6313
GEMB08.GIF 1261-1864 A geometric fragment None
GEMB09.GIF 8646-1863 A reliquary fragment 75160
GEMB10.GIF 1324A-1864 An embroidered cushion 73917
GEMB11.GIF 8313-1863 An embroidered bag None
If you are visiting the museum, the Picture Library is open to the public on weekdays. I highly recommend rummaging through the filing cabinets as a way to spend heaps of money.


In addition to graphing these items, I compared the colors on the original to a DMC color chart. This allows me to define the colors to a widely available standard. Due to fading, these colors may not be exactly as they were five hundred years ago, but in most cases I feel the match is close enough. The Pattern numbers in parenthesis indicate that the item is badly faded or worn and therefore the colors are best guesses.
Table 2:
DMC Equivalents for Colors Found in the Items Discussed Above
Color DMC#   Color DMC#   Color DMC#   Color DMC#
Cream Ecru   Green 563   White White   Green 564
Red 304   Green 580   Black 310   Yellow 725
Blue 312   Off-White 746   Green 320   Blue 827
Blue 322   Dark Gold 831   Purple 327   Gold 833
Red 347   Tan 842   Green 368   Green 988
Red 498   Gold 3045   Blue 519   Red/Purple 3721

Thread Counts

Table 3:
Fabric Thread Counts
Count Pattern #
20 D
28 A,C,I
32 F
37 J
51 H
52 B,E
72 G