Brainerd & Armstrong’s Embroidery lessons with colored studies, 1908 : latest and most complete book on the subject of silk embroidery and popular fancy work is available on the Internet archive.
People who use a lot of floral motifs in their projects will find the section on “Lessons in embroidering flowers” interesting. It covers how to embroider flowers but the chapter commences with analysing the parts of a plant. So you get a little lesson in botany along the way! In the same section it covers topics such as the number of strands of thread to use and what direction to work your stitches. The patterns have a guide to shading flowers which is informative, particularly for anyone who is exploring thread painting. I love reading old books and magazines about embroidery because you can see where the tradition of various forms of modern embroidery come from while seeing how embroiderers of the past worked. It always surprised me to see how much interpretation was left up to the embroiderer.
For readers who are interested in different types of embroidery, Embroidery Lessons has a chapter on Wallachian Embroidery. This is a style of embroidery I did not know much about. Apparently this style of embroidery comes from Romania. Characteristic designs worked Wallachian Embroidery feature rings and leaves worked in buttonhole stitch. Stems and lines were worked with a double buttonhole stitch, with flower centers filled with French knots.
As you can see by the directions, it is a simple technique. In the nineteenth century Wallachian embroidery was popularised in North America as a form of whitework. The forerunner was the Romanian folk embroidery. It is an interesting style that could be adapted to contemporary embroidery.
The rest of Brainerd & Armstrong’s Embroidery lessons with colored studies, 1908 : latest and most complete book on the subject of silk embroidery and popular fancy work includes a section on Mountmellick embroidery from Ireland, shadow embroidery and “Lazy Daisy” Designs. The rest of the book is devoted to embroidery patterns for doilies and centerpieces. If you take a section of the pattern there are oodles of motifs that crazy quilters will find useful.
There is, of course, the usual charm of antique publications. I love looking at the projects. For instance, there is a bag you can use when you go to the Opera. Another bag made for the express purpose of keeping your bits of string in! I love some of the “handsome sofa cushions” which I am told are “splendid design for a bachelors den”
One downside is that it says “with colored studies” but it is not in colour. For a pdf download of Brainerd & Armstrong’s Embroidery lessons with colored studies, 1908 : latest and most complete book on the subject of silk embroidery and popular fancy work follow the link.