Medieval Embroidery



Medieval Embroidery


For my research project, I wanted to pursue the intricate work of Medieval embroidery - in particular, Opus Anglicanum (English Work), a type of Medieval embroidery that involves using the stitch underside couching. Requiring two threads, underside couching is stitched by laying the thread that is to be seen on the fabric (Opus Anglicanum used real spun gold filé) and holding it in place with another thread (typically cotton); this task is completed with two needles. Although unfinished (I encountered excruciating back pain while hunched over stitching), I am especially pleased with how the symbols turned out, particularly the ones I stitched using a gold thread! I believe I experienced just a small sample of what it was truly like back in the Medieval Era, hunching over a frame and stitching away using only candlelight and windows to see what I was doing, back aching, fingers calloused. Nevertheless, I did enjoy the overall experience and will surely incorporate the underside couching stitching technique in future embroidery projects.


Hannah Taylor