Featured A nice embroidered circle

Discussion in 'Textiles, Needle Arts, Clothing' started by J Dagger, Feb 12, 2024.

  1. J Dagger

    J Dagger Well-Known Member

    Picked this up at a good old estate over the weekend. Wondering what it was originally? Stool/chair seat cover, very small rug, just decorative and likely in a frame of sorts? Some brown (maybe reddish originally?) velvet along border. It looks like it could be taken from a Chinese design maybe. Maybe not though. 16” diameter. What a lot of work to make! D64BC7AF-1CEB-4615-B3DF-E90EADF22D30.jpeg EBFCFDCB-2521-493F-971F-64739832EBDD.jpeg E29657E0-B0A7-4FCF-83DD-06326540A799.jpeg DBF5CAF5-E0C4-4111-A54F-82FB32A651CB.jpeg
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  2. Debora

    Debora Well-Known Member

    I'd think it was a decorative pillow but size a bit large.

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  3. mirana

    mirana Well-Known Member

    Agreed, I thought of a pillow. No expert though...
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  4. komokwa

    komokwa The Truth is out there...!

    I like the stool, furniture idea...
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  5. laura9797

    laura9797 Well-Known Member

    were the birds stitched in?
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  6. komokwa

    komokwa The Truth is out there...!

    the vase too.....a much tighter stitch..
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  7. Any Jewelry

    Any Jewelry Well-Known Member

    So do I. Those round footstools.
    It looks like Berlin (wool) work a type of home embroidery from kits that was popular from the mid-19th century onward.
  8. Any Jewelry

    Any Jewelry Well-Known Member

  9. Debora

    Debora Well-Known Member

    Something like this?

    Screenshot 2024-02-13 at 7.43.54 AM.png
  10. Any Jewelry

    Any Jewelry Well-Known Member

    Yes, that's what I was thinking of.
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  11. Debora

    Debora Well-Known Member

    Works for me.

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  12. bluumz

    bluumz Quite Busy

    I was trying to find out the difference between needlepoint and Berlin work... it seems it's only that Berlin work is needlepoint stitches done on a needlepoint canvas that has had a colored chart applied to it for the stitcher to follow.

    Re: Berlin work, needlepoint, petit point, and tapestry... per wikipedia:

    "Berlin Work refers to a subset of needlepoint, popular in the mid-19th Century that was stitched in brightly colored wool on needlepoint canvas from hand-colored charts.

    "Needlepoint" refers to a particular set of stitching techniques worked upon stiff openwork canvas. However, "needlepoint" is not synonymous with all types of embroidery. Because it is stitched on a fabric that is an open grid, needlepoint is not embellishing a fabric, as is the case with most other types of embroidery, but literally the making of a new fabric. It is for this reason that many needlepoint stitches must be of sturdier construction than other embroidery stitches.

    Needlepoint is often referred to as "tapestry" in the United Kingdom and sometimes as "canvas work". However, needlepoint—which is stitched on canvas mesh—differs from true tapestry—which is woven on a vertical loom. When worked on fine weave canvas in tent stitch, it is also known as "petit point"."

    I see both regular needlepoint stitches and petit point stitches.
    What a lovely old thing!
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  13. J Dagger

    J Dagger Well-Known Member

    Thanks for all the great replies ladies and gents. I had never even heard of Berlin work. Can I ask what gives it away as such? I’m guessing you can’t see the color chart? I’m always a at loss on identifying embroidery techniques to begin with. I’ve been picking up a lot of old decorative pillows and textiles lately and I’m taking equal parts educates guess and stabs in the dark sometimes when describing them. I’ll often just use the embroidered catch all to stay safe. The home happened to have a lot of embroidered stools and seat covers which is what lead me towards that as my first possible conclusion. I’m sure this won’t bring a fortune but I was glad to save it. Seems very few people put value on these odds and ends at sales. I was there literally after the close of a three day sale when I found this and got it for basically nothing. It’s one of those thing I fear would just end up in a dumpster if I hadn’t taken it. It’s always interesting to see the backside of things like this. Not only for technique clues but just seeing what the colors would have looked like 150 or so years ago.

    edit: oh, AJ, it’s the type of media (wool) used that tipped you off re: Berlin work? Just re-read one of your comments.
  14. J Dagger

    J Dagger Well-Known Member

    I did initially notice the left bird looking like it was placed in form a different source. On closer inspection I do see the other bird and vase were stitched differently and look patched in.
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  15. Any Jewelry

    Any Jewelry Well-Known Member

    Yes, the wool, also the type of wool together with the style of the design.

    I have a Berlin wool handscreen/fan, and researched Berlin woolwork when I got it, in the 1970s.
    I noticed that, a nice detail. The same stitch but a thinner thread imo. It is either thin wool or silk, but it looks like thin wool to me.
    Last edited: Feb 14, 2024
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  16. ola402

    ola402 Well-Known Member

    Might me why they kept it.
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  17. DragonflyWink

    DragonflyWink Well-Known Member

    I started doing needlepoint as a kid, spending hours in needlework shops, sifting through yarns and canvases, designing my own pieces, and becoming proficient enough to stitch samples for a local kit designer/manufacturer. Should mention that some canvases were preworked with the design, leaving the gros point background to be worked by less skilled hands, often these were intended for use as seat cushions.

    This piece is on a penelope canvas (also called berlin canvas), a double thread construction that allows petit point worked over every thread with a strand of the tapestry yarn, and the gros point over every pair of threads - this is a clear image showing a preworked canvas with both petit point and gros point, ready to have the background filled in:

    needlepoint-preworked.jpg https://www.etsy.com/listing/668969958/vintage-preworked-needlepoint-canvas?gpla=1&gao=1&

    This site has some great information and images on penelope canvas and berlin work:


  18. J Dagger

    J Dagger Well-Known Member

    That’s very interesting Cheryl. Sounds like you had quite a knack for it. Funny how something just about every girl could do with some level of proficiency (not to your level but well enough) just a a few generations ago is now something I bet not even 1% of girls could do.

    So rather than my birds and vase being stitched in do you think they were there originally and the background is actually the part that’s stitched in technically?
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  19. DragonflyWink

    DragonflyWink Well-Known Member

    Not clear on the question, but regardless, all of the work was done by human hands, whether professional or amateur. Sometimes the background is so poorly done that it's obviously done by a much less skilled hand, but otherwise, no way to tell (yours is nicely worked, all stitching well done, even blocking can't hide poor work), similar classic designs would have continued well into the 20th century, maybe still made, I'm not up on it these days.

    Would think yours has some age, and that it was more likely used for a stool or round chair seat rather than a pillow - even the corduroy isn't really helpful, by the time I started needlepoint, corduroy was often used for pillow backs and cording (my usual choice), but before that it was just a sturdy utilitarian fabric, suspect the bit seen on yours wasn't intended to be seen. I've picked up pieces obviously scavenged from chairs and used them for smaller pieces or made them into pillows, shame to let nice needlework go to waste...

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  20. J Dagger

    J Dagger Well-Known Member

    I picked this up the other day to put it away and realized there was as a manufacturer mark I had missed previously! Anyone recognize the name? I searched a few options based on the blurry first letter and got nothing. BD958F69-1967-44CA-8B30-8FE106F29BB5.jpeg 4ECE3D3E-D00F-485F-832C-1D03A8ED4220.jpeg
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