Friday, 21 August 2009
Dorset feather stitchery
I was very pleased to pick up this apron in town the other day; a real find in the charity shop, for £3! More than I'd usually pay for a secondhand apron, but this one just had to come home with me.........it's very special :)
After WW2, women were encouraged to work this emroidery as a way of brightening up their clothes and lives after teh austerity of wartime. I think I'm right in saying it was done through the WI, and the woman who started it was Olivia Pass, whose book on Dorset Feather Stitchery is the classic one to buy if you're interested, and not too hard to get hold of. There's not much ifnormation on tne net as such, Google more or less just comes up with details of the book.
Yous hould ge tsome idea of the style from the photos, though - curving stitching resembling feathers, designs resembling the Paisley pattern, couching; sometimes ric rac braid was incorporated too. This one has small areas of smocking under the waistband. The ends of the gros grain ribbon ties are couched as well, such attentiont o detail, and the standard of stitching is high.
This apron is completely hand stitched as far as I can see; it's enver been used/worn, which leads me to suspect it was made for a show or exhibition, or as an illustrative piece; maybe even as an exercise in school - I suppose I'll never know, but I know I'm fortunate in that it has come into my possession, where it will be well-looked after for the future.
Posted by MrsL at 10:01