Testing out Embroidery Patterns – Pleatwork

So I decided to work on a new long term project to chart out patterns from some of the German Modelbuch’s and then recreate them in both white and black (embroidery). Well I got 3 done, and only in black. The charting is the easy part, but I quickly realized that it would take much more time than I expected and its very tedious.

However, the results are very cool. One of the big questions when looking at pleated and embroidered garments is it “trim” or “embroidery”.

People also like to interpret some of the embroidery as “blackwork” which is doable over pleats but would not be what we modernly consider blackwork.

I am going to designate this as monochrome embroidery on pleats. The technique used is modernly known as pattern darning. Its a very common technique, dating from likely 12th century onwards.

Sample 1

“Ein new Modelbuch auff außnehen vnd borten wircken … Anno Domini 1526”

Johann Schönsperger (der Jüngere), 1526, Berlin, Staatliche Museen zu Berlin – Preußischer Kulturbesitz, Kunstbibliothek

http://www.bildindex.de/bilder/kb17720014a.jpg (Thanks to Katherine Bairch) http://jillwheezul.livejournal.com/245929.html.

I did however reverse the colors.  This is the chart and the resulting sample embroidery:

DSC00021 DSC00018

Sample 2:

DSC00020DSC00016

 

Sample 3 is a test from portraiture.

DSC00017

 

Sample 4 was done to try out the embroidery on the shirt from Portrait of the Margrave Casimir of Brandenburg-Kulmbach c1511 

http://commons.m.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Hans_S%C3%BC%C3%9F_von_Kulmbach_002.jpg

What I wanted to test if a silk could hold up to being carried over on the front of the pleats or was this more likely a stiff medium such as metal thread. I embroidered over 5 pleats using Soie Ovale ( a flat filament silk). It seemed to hold up, but over more pleats it would start to droop. So it was most likely a stiffer floss, or a fine fine metal thread.

File:Hans Süß von Kulmbach 002.jpg DSC00013

 

TAKEAWAYS so far:

1. Silk for embroidery should be equal in size to the size of the pleats for the best effect

2. Very tight pleating (like Sample 2) will replicate trim / brocades

3. Not all patterns work for pleats. You cant have the thread carry over too many pleats or the pattern starts getting distorted.

More to come… next white..

 

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