Handbook of Embroidery

1880, by L. Higgin, edited by Lady Marian Alford






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Handbook of Embroidery by L. Higgin
Handbook of Embroidery
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Textile Fabrics used as grounds for Embroidery


Velveteen, if of good quality, makes an excellent ground for screen panels, chair-covers, portières, curtains, borders, &c. It can be worked in the hand if the embroidery be not too heavy or large in style.

Utrecht Velvet is only suitable for coarse crewel or tapestry wool embroidery. It is fit for curtain dados or wide borderings.

Velvet Cloth is a rich plain cloth, finished without any gloss. It is a good ground for embroidery, either for curtains or altar-cloths. It is two yards wide.

Felt is sometimes used for the same purposes, but does not wear nearly so well, and is difficult to work.

Diagonal Cloth can be worked either in the hand or frame, although it is always much better in the latter. It is used for table-covers, curtains, chair-seats, &c.

[Pg 17] Serge is usually made thirty-six inches wide. It has long been in favour for curtains, small table-covers, dresses, &c. It can now be obtained at the school fifty-four inches wide, in many shades.

Soft or Super Serge, also fifty-four inches wide, is an excellent material, much superior in appearance to diagonal cloth, or to the ordinary rough serge. It takes embroidery well.

Cricketing flannel is used for coverlets for cots, children’s dresses, and many other purposes. It is of a beautiful creamy colour, and is a good ground for fine crewel or silk embroidery. It need not be worked in a frame.

Genoa or Lyons Velvet makes a beautiful ground for embroidery; but it can only be worked in a frame, and requires to be “backed” with a thin cotton or linen lining, if it is to sustain any mass of embroidery. For small articles, such as sachets or casket-covers, when the work is fine and small, the backing is not necessary. Screen panels of velvet, worked wholly in crewels, or with crewel brightened with silk, are very effective. Three-piled velvet is the best for working upon, but is so expensive that it is seldom asked for.

Silk Velvet Plush (a new material) can only be used in frame work, and must be backed. It is useful in “appliqué” from the many beautiful tones of colour it takes. As a ground for silk or gold embroidery it is also very good.