Sleeve and Cushion Update

Item one payer of Sleves of white satten enbrawdred over with pirled gold acorns and honysocles teyed with tenne payer of aglettes of golde

Strawberries were added because they were mentioned in the description of a different pair of sleeves: Item oon paier of sleaves of crimson satten all over embraudered with damaske gold and silver with Acornes and Strawberies.  The technique of threading a long section of purl and couching it through the coils was used to make the outline of the berry shape.  The width and consistency of the 16th century wire is very different and appears to be a little less delicate than the modern check.  It was very difficult to place the couching stitch without misaligning the coils but a quick tweak with the tweezers smoothed out the kinks.  The early Tudor purls are not nearly as tidy as today’s, coils often overlap and appear to have been compressed to fit into the space.  A good example of the couched and compacted purl can be seen in the small panels in the British Museum.  I can’t get a close match with the hand made Tudor purl without the exact size and consistency of wire that was used so I have had to use purls that are as close as possible.  I used size 11 check and smooth purl from Maurer on the sleeve.

The original plan was to space the motifs on the border equally and leave a larger unstitched area towards the end of the sleeve at the elbow where it would be covered by the over sleeve.  However, it happened that I had seen the drawing of a standing cup and cover that Holbein had designed for Jane Seymour.  He had included an H I cipher – H for Henry and I for Jane.  Ciphers for Catherine of Aragon and Anne Boleyn had been embroidered often so I left a space on the border where the HI could be seen.

Pearls were also not included in this particular inventory entry but they were a very common addition to embroidery.  A broken pearl eyeglass keeper had been saved to be restrung, but they were just the right size so they were appropriated and the result is very much in keeping with Tudor tastes.

Item one Cusshion of white Satten enbrawdered with a cut of carnacion vellat fringed and tassaled with silke the backesyde of white Satten of bridges conteyning in bredthe di yarde and in lengthe three quarter

The cushion is also finished but the correct size feather insert has to be made or purchased, likewise the fringe and tassels.  Depending on how the light hits it, the velvet shades beautifully from dark to light, and the gold-coloured silk outlining shades from bright yellow to beige making it very luxuriant.  It would look fabulous on the Abbot’s oak chair from Evesham Abbey, it would also make it a little more comfortable!

2 thoughts on “Sleeve and Cushion Update

Add yours

  1. Cindy this is so much fun to see and read but of course all stitchers can also relate to the pain and frustration experienced before the completed beautiful article.
    And yes the cushion will look beautiful on the chair but really??
    How could one sit on your magnificent cushion????
    As always, you I am in awe of your research and your stitching.
    🤗 💕💕💕💕❤️❤️❤️❤️

  2. The pearls look wonderful Cindy! The sleeve was already stunning, but the sets of pearls at the meeting of vines sets the stitching off magnificently. The Evesham Abbey Abbot’s chair is quite handsome. Until you pointed out how desperately it needs a cushion, now I can’t look at the picture of it without thinking how Painful it must be to sit on. Good luck stuffing the right sized cushion!

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