Sunday, April 6, 2014

Tiny stitches?

It was a bad week for textile work and thought.  I did a little embroidery (got the double running portion of my travel piece, discussed here, done) and nothing in the way of research or study.

Instead, I will talk about a piece seen in a museum, more or less randomly from my photos. The more-or-less random selection is Fragment at the Metropolitan Museum of Art. It is a 14th to 15th century wool applique from Islamic Egypt. The museum's info does not indicate what it is or where it was used.  The threads at the top make me thing that it was maybe inset in a larger piece. What I find really striking is the size of the couching threads.  When we do applique today, we take little bitty stitches so that they don't show.  But even in this piece they don't show much, until you get pretty close.  

From a distance it looks relatively neat.
 Then, when you get a closer look, you start to really see those couching threads.
Finally, up close, the threads are quite obvious (as are the overhead lights in the study room in the glass over the piece). 

When a piece is going to be seen only from a distance (a banner or a hanging maybe), perhaps the important thing is to get it done and have it secure. 

Something to think about... as I make my tiny stitches to keep my work neat.