Thursday, 6 August 2009

Art Nouveau Embroidery Patterns


Being off sick does have its advantages, not only do I have time to be creative and make some more jewellery: four bracelets recycling marquesite dasies from a broken piece of vintage jewellery, one for my wrist and one for my sister, and two up on Etsy (I have been neglecting my listings of late, but then it is only a hobby).

I am also taking the opportunity to sort through my collection of ephemera gathered over the years at flea markets and so on. I have this folder full of Art Nouveau embroidery transfers (well, if we could call them that, as the technology of the time meant that ladies traced the images rather than ironed them onto the fabric!). These have no publication date, but it appears that the publication 'El Consultor de los Bordados' (The Counselor - or consultant - of embroideries) was in print between 1905 and 1937 (which is interesting, as the Spanish Civil War broke out on 18th July 1936, so they kept going at least a few months into the war). This means that the copies I have date from 1920 to 1923.

Some of the designs are based on the alphabet, and there are many examples of stylised initials, and popular names at the time like 'Dolores' and 'Amalia' and 'Adela':

A handsome prince to pick out on a daring young woman's pillow? I imagine that the technique partly uses drawn thread work to create the silhouette.

Then there are exotic inspired images, from Egyptian motifs to Far Eastern ones like this geisha:

And some lanterns (wouldn't they look good on a table cloth or napkins?):

And, of course, there are plenty of animals, like this literate and informed frog,

To this simple elefant:

And floral motifs abound:

I wish I could say they inspire me to pull out needle and thread but my primary education was such that afternoons of my childhood were spent sewing under the tutelage of The Sisters of Charity - and whilst I am enjoying this cultural return to the arts and crafts of domesticity, embroidery would be going too far for me! Actually, I must confess, I have just freaked myself out and checked to see if my old school had a web page, and - eeeeek - two of the sisters are still teaching there.... oh dear, I must go and lie on the sofa to recover from the shock!


SmitoniusAndSonata said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
SmitoniusAndSonata said...

Sorry , that was me . Sheer surprise catching up with me . Sor Pilar ? Sor Amalia ?
Sonata .

Tania said...

Yikes! Sewing under the tutelage of the Sisters of Charity invokes visions of flinching fingers earnestly embroidering and tall, severe women with pinned up hair and aquiline noses. Not sure why. It just does.

Loz and Dinny said...

I'm getting canes whipped on bare legs under the table, with cries of sew straight you heathen! You are right to let the embroidery sit on the back burner ... but the designs are so so beautiful!
PS thanks for all your lovely comments - I never know whether to answer here or over at mine ... but just know they are read and appreciated (and usually giggled at!)

Tinniegirl said...

Those bracelets are so beautiful.

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