The Studio yearbook of decorative art — 1906

Page: 206
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Embroidery is an art which, of all
others, ought, being a work of super-
erogation, to be sumptuous and finely
wrought. Cheap and poverty-stricken
embroidery is a contradiction in terms.
Machine-made imitations of chain-stitch
embroidery and such-like are so base a
degradation of a beautiful thing that,
on the principle that corruptio optimi
pessima, they are unwoithy to exist at
all. Embroidety must be a real enhance-
ment ; and this can only be done by
adding a richer and costlier material to
a poorer one, not vice versa. Thus a
silk fabric gains nothing in enrichment
by being embroidered with wool or linen
thread ; but a linen or a woollen stuff'

embroidered cushion designed and sewn

on the contrary, is m literal fact em- by- verona j. w. smith

bellished by the superposition of silk
needlework. There are some authorities

—purists, perhaps—who maintain that a brocaded gether, and to assert that good taste invariably
silk, because it has a decoration of its own, ought requires a plain ground for embroidery,
not to be used as the groundwork for embroidery. Now, embroidery may be worked either solid,
In their view it is a redundant piling of ornament the whole ground being covered with darned-stitch,
upon ornament. But there are too many instances tent-stitch, satin-stitch, or otherwise; or it may be
of mediaeval work which contravene this canon worked on linen and cut out, as it were, in
for one to presume to condemn the practice alto- silhouette, and then attached to the ground

material; or yet again the pattern
may be formed by cutting out
patches of coloured stuffs, say in
the shape of leaves and flowers,
and sewing them on to the ground-
work, their raw edges being button-
holed round or covered with laid
gold-thread or strands of wool or
silk. Both these last-named methods
are known as applique work.

As to other properties of em-
broidery, since there is practically
no modelling (the stuffing occasion-
ally to be met with being incidental
to certain specific kinds of work
only), and since, again, there should
be but little attempt to depict
shading (no more, in fact, than is
absolutely required for definition),
the effect depends mainly on beauty
of drawing—outline, that is to say
—and chiefest of all on beauty of
colour. By comparison with walls
and carpets, for example, the colour
of embroidery may be bright or even

embroidered table cover designed by ann macbeth ' ' 6

sewn by susan t. temi'leton gay. This does not, of course, mean

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