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The Bayeux “Tapestry”

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Filum Aureum, Winter 2006

The Bayeux “Tapestry”


by Isela di Bari


For over 250 years scholars have studied, debated, photographed, classified, conceptualized, and theorized over the Bayeux Tapestry and its historical significance. It stands at the crossroads of three great civilizations: Viking, Anglo-Saxon and Norman. However, few have written about the embroidery through the eyes of an embroiderer. So we owe a debt of gratitude to researchers like Dr. Gale Owen- Crocker, Jan Messent, David Wilson and the group who presented papers at the Cerisy Colloquium in Bayeux, France in 1999. I’ll summarize some of their new insights here.Continue reading The Bayeux “Tapestry”

Appliqué: Lay on!

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Is This Stitch Period? #5
Filum Aureum, Fall

Appliqué: Lay on!



— by Christian de Holacombe, Guild Deputy

Never let it be said that all medieval needlework is painstakingly Lionquartersworked in thousands of tiny stitches! Appliqué, stitching pieces of colored cloth onto a background, provides a quick and easy way to make a big splash of color on banners, buntings, bardings and clothing — making encampments and tournaments truly spectacular.Continue reading Appliqué: Lay on!

Anna Meyer’s embroidered bands

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Filum Aureum, Spring-Summer 2008

Anna Meyer’s embroidered bands


by Aelia Apollonia

From the moment I first saw Anna Meyer’s dress in Holbein’s Darmstadt Madonna, I knew I wanted it. It wasn’t just because the warm white of the dress stood out against the muted colors of the rest of the painting, or that I was lacking in close-fitting garments. It was mostly because the dress was trimmed with three different bands of blackwork embroidery on the sleeves, as well as a fourth that ran around the entire neckline. It was an amazing challenge I knew I had to try.Continue reading Anna Meyer’s embroidered bands

All that glitters…

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Period Stitches #5: Filum Aureum, Spring 2001

All that glitters…

by Lady Christian de Holacombe


“Marvel not at the gold and the expense, but at
the craftsmanship of the work.
Bright is the noble work; but, being nobly bright, the work
Should brighten the minds so that they may travel,
through the true lights,
To the True Light….
The dull mind rises to truth, through that which is material
And, in seeing this light,
is resurrected from its former submersion.”
— Abbot Suger of Saint-Denis (Paris, 12th century)

I don’t know about anyone else, but I’m always ready to “Ooh” and “Aah” over the glittery stuff. In this article we’ll take a quick look at some of the stitches and styles that produce these rich effects.Continue reading All that glitters…

A Mamluk handkerchief

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The Project Page: Filum Aureum, Spring-Summer 2008 

A Mamluk handkerchief 

by Christian de Holacombe

The illustration here shows a simple square of linen from Marianne Ellis’s Embroideries and Samplers from Islamic Egypt. It dates from sometime in the Mamluk period Mamluk-handkerchief(1250-1517), and is carefully worked to be completely reversible. Ellis suggests it might have been “the equivalent of today’s pocket handkerchief,” but if so, it’s a very decorative one. The embroidery gives the illusion that decorative strips of woven trim have been stitched down on the surface — two groups of three in one direction, two single bands in the other. This would be a nice sized project to practice reversible blackwork.Continue reading A Mamluk handkerchief

Report from the Inter-Kingdom Intensive Needlework Symposium (IKINS)

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Inter-Kingdom Intensive Needlework Symposium
Report from IKINS
September 2008

Reviews of the first Inter-Kingdom Intensive Needlework Symposium (IKINS) in September have ranged from “fabulous” to “fantastic!” The display of past needlework projects was inspirational; the classes were taught by talented, enthusiastic teachers and were packed with information; and everyone appreciated the chance to connect with old friends and make new ones.Continue reading Report from the Inter-Kingdom Intensive Needlework Symposium (IKINS)

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