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embroidery-SW-msg - 11/18/97


Period "stumpwork" embroidery. Information sources. A type of embroidery incorporating raised, padded thread-word to create a three-dimensional pattern.


NOTE: See also the files: embroidery-msg, emb-linen-msg, emb-frames-msg, emb-blackwork-msg, cross-stitch-msg, p-x-stitch-art.





This file is a collection of various messages having a common theme that I have collected from my reading of the various computer networks. Some messages date back to 1989, some may be as recent as yesterday.


This file is part of a collection of files called Stefan's Florilegium. These files are available on the Internet at: http://www.florilegium.org


I have done a limited amount of editing. Messages having to do with separate topics were sometimes split into different files and sometimes extraneous information was removed. For instance, the message IDs were removed to save space and remove clutter.


The comments made in these messages are not necessarily my viewpoints. I make no claims as to the accuracy of the information given by the individual authors.


Please respect the time and efforts of those who have written these messages. The copyright status of these messages is unclear at this time. If information is published from these messages, please give credit to the originator(s).


Thank you,

    Mark S. Harris                  AKA:  THLord Stefan li Rous

                                          Stefan at florilegium.org



Date: Sun, 4 May 1997 22:30:22 -0400 (EDT)

From: Carol at Small Churl Books <scbooks at neca.com>

To: sca-arts at raven.cc.ukans.edu

Subject: Re: Stumpwork


>Does anyone know of any books containing patterns and directions for

>period stumpwork?


I will dig in my pile of photocopies during the next week and see if I can

find anything useful.


>In "Stumpwork Embroidery" Jane Nicholas says it was practiced in England

>between 1650 and 1700. This is a terrific book, but the author designed

>all the patterns herself and the introduction even says that she has not

>even tried to duplicate 17th century stumpwork.


It looks like the Elizabethan patterns of embroidery, but with parts raised

up.  I believe that they had wooden pieces that would fill out a skirt on a

figure, for example.


>Can any of you comment on this book and on stumpwork in general? Was it

>used on clothing? What was done with the finished pieces?


The few examples I've seen pictures of were one or two boxes - covered with

embroidered cloth - and (I think) a picture frame.  No clothes examples that

I know of.


>Has anyone done any stumpwork? Is it difficult to learn? Was it really

>only done for a 50 year period?


Never tried it & don't know how long it was around. (Afraid I lose interest

quickly after 1603.)  It was an odd, specialized pastime, I think.


>Like I don't have enough SCA interests without attempting stumpwork...


Nobody here but us maniacs!


Lady Carllein



Date: Mon, 5 May 1997 01:54:48 -0400 (EDT)

From: EowynA at aol.com

To: sca-arts at raven.cc.ukans.edu

Subject: Re: Stumpwork



There was an inquiry about stumpwork (a largely post-period embroidery style

used on boxes [caskets] and picture frames and such, and not to my knowledge

on clothing).


I met Jane Nicholas last September at the Embroiderer's Guild of America's

National Seminar, and saw her stunningly beautiful sample pieces (I'd have

taken her class--it was my second choice --if I hadn't gotten into my first

choice class on Elizabethan stitching styles).  Her designs are original, but

she has based them on historical models.  But her historical is our

post-period.  Many of the same stitches were used in Elizabethan-era

embroidery, and some of the Elizabethan examples were even stuffed to make

them fluff up.  

But from what I have found (and I have been reasonably intensely researching

Elizabethan embroidery for the past year and a half, mostly because of the

aforesaid class), stumpwork was not really Elizabethan. I'd say 1650 is a

little late as a choice of date for the first appearance, but 1600 is a

little early.  


For articles on Elizabethan embroidery, those in Caid can look up some of my

articles the Ars Caidis magazine (Kingdom arts quarterly -- mail

ArsCaidis at aol.com for subscription info and back issues).  


For another book on Stumpwork, contact Baroness Xena at Hedgehog Handworks --

she has at least one other book on stumpwork that I have heard explains the

process a bit better, but since the projects were more modern, I skipped over

it.  I don't recall the title or author, but I know she carries it.   The

little stumpwork I've tried is lots of fun, but I'm concentrating on the

earlier stuff at the moment.


Hope that helps!

Eowyn Amberdrake (Caid)



Date: Mon, 5 May 1997 07:53:46 -0400

From: Margo Lynn Hablutzel <Hablutzel at compuserve.com>

To: "INTERNET:sca-arts at raven.cc.ukans.edu" <sca-arts at raven.cc.ukans.edu>

Subject: Stumpwork


As I recall, and I have seen a few examples, stumpwork was used for

pictures and other objects, NOT on clothing.  It used padding (I have not

seen wood, but cotton and related stuff) to make the work

three-dimensional.  In the little exhibit of ecclesiastical garb at the Art

Institute of Chicago last year, they had an incredible stumpwork cross, all

three-dimensional figures nicely dressed.


If you are interested in stumpwork, check a compendium of embroidery from

period, I think there are a few books that discuss historical embroidery

but it is not my field.  The pieces I recall are mostly allegorical scenes

or bits from stories, with maybe one that depicted recent history.


                                                ---= Morgan


           |\     THIS is the cutting edge of technology!


           |/   Morgan Cely Cain * Hablutzel at compuserve.com



Date: Mon, 05 May 1997 12:53:28 EDT

From: kathe1 at juno.com (Kathleen M Everitt)

To: sca-arts at raven.cc.ukans.edu

Subject: Re: Stumpwork


On Sun, 4 May 1997 18:35:16 -0700 (PDT) barbara shuwarger

<bshuwarg at lausd.k12.ca.us> writes:

>Does anyone know of any books containing patterns and directions for

>period stumpwork?


>In "Stumpwork Embroidery" Jane Nicholas says it was practiced in England

>between 1650 and 1700. This is a terrific book, but the author designed

>all the patterns herself and the introduction even says that she has not

>even tried to duplicate 17th century stumpwork.


>Can any of you comment on this book and on stumpwork in general? Was it

>used on clothing? What was done with the finished pieces?


>Has anyone done any stumpwork? Is it difficult to learn? Was it really

>only done for a 50 year period?


>Like I don't have enough SCA interests without attempting stumpwork...




Stumpwork was at its height around 1650, but it was practiced before

1600. Most of the large boxes that we see pictures of when "Stumpwork" is

mentioned are out of period, but there are a number of other existing

pieces that are in period.


Attached are notes and bibliography about Stumpwork from a class that I

taught for Athena's Thimble, the East Kingdom Embroidery Guild. Sorry the

notes are so sketchy, but I typed them up the day before I taught the

class, and all I wanted were reminders of what I had been reading for

several weeks before. The class was on all forms of Padded work, so not

all of the books in the bibliography include information on Stumpwork.

Someplace I have a list of pictures of period Stumpwork (as well as a lot

of stuff that's too late for us). If I can find it, I'll post it later.


I haven't tried Stumpwork yet, but I'm researching and planning a box

that I hope to start soon. If you have any other questions, I would be

glad to try to answer them.





   History -

       derived from Trapunto

       called "embosted" in England, "brodees en relief" On Continent

        name specific to embroideries from 15th - 17th C using various

materials to decorate and raised by stumps of wood or pads of wool.

        15th C - ecclesiastic work in Germany, Austria, Hungary, Italy

        Elizabethan - satin gauntlets, book covers

        Reached height in 17th C with boxes, mirror frames and wall

hangings of Stuart Period.

   Materials -

        ground - White, ivory or cream satin, Linen, silk, taffeta silk

        padding - wood, wool, wax, linen, rags, hemp, horsehair

        decorations - cords, metal treads, cardboard, leather, silk,

lace, brocade, precious stones, gold leaf, hair, seed pearls, sheet

metal, wood, wax, wire, braids, vellum, feathers, mica, paint, beads,


   Stitches - detached buttonhole, couching, underside couching, bullion

knot, seeding, chain, velvet, tent, stem, gobelin, long and short,

rococo, petit-point, French knots, laid stitches, burden, satin, brick

   Motifs - people, animals (especially those in royal badges, castles,

fountains, trees, flowers, Biblical, political, myths, legends,






Best, Muriel. Stumpwork, London: BT Batsford, 1987.

Cavallo, Adolph S. Needlework, NY: Cooper-Hewitt Museum, 1979.

Christie, Grace. Embroidery and Tapestry Weaving, New York:      

Taplinger Publishing, 1979.

Colby, Averil. Quilting, London: BT Batsford,

Dean, Beryl. Ecclesiastical Embroidery, London: BT Batsford, 1958.

Endacott, Violet M. Design in Embroidery, NY: Bonanza Books, 1964.

Gostelow, Mary. The Complete guide to Needlework, NY: Chartwell      

Books, 1982.

Hinson, Delores A. Quilting Manual, NY: Dover Books, 1966.

Hirst, Barbara and Roy. Raised Embroidery, London: Merchurst      

Limited, 1993.

King, Donald and Levey, Santina. The Victoria and Albert Museum      

Textile Collection, NY: Canopy Books, 1993.

MacQuoid, Percy. English Furniture, Tapestry and Needlework of the  

XVIth-XIXth Centuries, London: BT Batsford,

McNeill, Moyra. Quilting,

Morgan, Mary and Mosteller, Dee. Trapunto and other Forms of Raised  

Quilting, NY: Charles Scribner's Sons,

Schuette, Marie and Muller-Christansen, Sigrid. A Pictorial History    of

Embroidery, NY: Frederick A. Praeger, 1964.

Swift, Gay. The Batsford Encyclopedia of Embroidery Techniques,  

London: B.T. Batsford, 1984.



Date: Mon, 5 May 1997 10:48:59 -0700

From: Charlene Noto <charlenn at MICROSOFT.com>

To: "'sca-arts at raven.cc.ukans.edu'" <sca-arts at raven.cc.ukans.edu>

Subject: RE: Stumpwork


> From:       barbara shuwarger[SMTP:bshuwarg at lausd.k12.ca.us]


> Does anyone know of any books containing patterns and directions for

> period stumpwork?


In A Pictorial History of Embroidery, there are several plates depicting

some beautiful raised embroidery  that looks remarkedly like stumpwork.

I think it was 1400's. Sorry. Don't have my references here at work.





Date: Mon, 5 May 1997 18:03:59 -0500

From: theodelinda at webtv.net (linda webb)

To: sca-arts at raven.cc.ukans.edu

Subject: Re: Stumpwork


The Victoria and Albert Museum has examples of Elizabethan guildmasters

crowns done in raised embroidery, which is the step before full-blown

stumpwork--These are velvet circlets with embroidery on them.  The one I

recall best has a pattern of leaves and flowers, with a crest in the

center. I believe most, if not all, of the embroidery, including the

raised work, is in metal threads.--Theo



Date: Tue, 06 May 1997 20:16:51 EDT

From: tourdion at juno.com

To: sca-arts at raven.cc.ukans.edu

Subject: Re: Stumpwork


On page 38 of Pauline Johnstone's Three Hundred Years of Embroidery 1600

- 1900 (Wakefield Press) there is a fine (color!) picture of an early

17th century woman's coif that has lovely 3 dimensional peapod that has

the top portion of the pod peeled back to reveal the golden peas within.

I also suspect from looking at this picture that the blue butterfly wings

are worked in 3 dimension and wired to stand out as well. Page 37 also

shows some 3 dimensional peapods but these are not as obvious as the one

on page 38.


>From these examples it is my educated guess that they started out using

flatter motifs on embroidered clothing articles and later developed the

more rounded figures which they worked on boxes and whatnots that

received less wear and tear than clothes.


As for where they got patterns, the same book mentions "biblical

illustrations engraved and published by Gerard de Jode in Antwerp in 1585

after drawings by Martin de Vos, under the titles 'Thesaurus sacrarum

historiarum Veteris Testamenti', and 'Thesaurus Novi Testamenti'" as well

as pattern books by engravers and publishers Peter Stent and John Overton

which included flowers, animals, maps, biblical scenes, and so on. There

is also a book that was done by Thomas Trevalyon in the late 1500's that

was evidently immensely popular, for a number of the extant women's coifs

I've seen have come directly out of his book (going off of shear

brainpower on this particular book which is why I can't get more specific

- I just remember copying several pages of a facsimile of it at the

Library of Congress). I also recall someone mentioning Gerard's Herbal as

a resource for patterns once as well.


Elspeth nic Cormac



<the end>

Formatting copyright © Mark S. Harris (THLord Stefan li Rous).
All other copyrights are property of the original article and message authors.

Comments to the Editor: stefan at florilegium.org