By the late seventeenth century, cheap, washable cotton cloth and luxurious woven silks were in huge demand and contributed to the changing fashions in Britain. Fine, beautiful fabrics encouraged less padding to be worn and instead more to be added to the furniture, which during the Tudor period had been fairly stark. Furnishings obviously called for something a little more durable than clothing and designers began to create textile furnishings with easily accessible and more resilient materials such as dyed wools and heavy-duty linens; their designs inspired by the fashionable tree of life patterns found on the pampalores. After the Protestant Reformation there was little demand for ecclesiastic work, so it was more common to see embroidery used for secular and domestic objects. Crewel embroidery thus became more popular, and professional craftsmen, laden with pattern books, travelled the country redesigning the interiors of the wealthy; adorning country houses with cosy furnishings, panels, fire screens and bed-hangings embroidered with exotic illustrations. The lady of the house would then embroider these patterns with colourful crewel wools.
Crewelwork reached its peak in popularity during the following Stuart period, after Elizabeth I died and James VI of Scotland acceded to the throne of the United Kingdom as King James I. Increasingly, amateur embroiderers took up needlework for pleasure and to furnish their own home, and it became the done thing for a young lady to accomplish.
Product code: AAQAU
Publisher: Search Press Ltd
Dimensions: 21.5cm x 16.0cm
Publish date: 06/10/2010
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