Books part 1 Encyclopaedias

I think the best place to start with the books are the general ones, and then those that deal with stitches for different types of embroidery.

The first one is not physically on my bookshelf, but on my computer.   Therese de Dillmont’s Encyclopedia of Needlework  is available as an ebook from Project Gutenberg.   Books which are out of copyright can be processed in this way, and there are other websites which also provide the same service with older books.

This is a wonderful book,  covering more than just Embroidery. Sewing and Mending, Knitting , Crochet, tatting, Macrame and Lacemaking are all included.  There are many illustrations and some of the designs are timeless.

The second embroidery book I ever bought was The complete Encyclopaedia of Stitchcraft, by Mildred Ryan.  This another book in the same vein as de Dillmont’s. It covers much the same topics, and rugmaking in addition, including a section on making braids., to make braided rugs.

The next one is a very old book, which was my Mother’s.  It is Needlework and Crafts, by Irene Davison, Agnes Miall,  and R.K.and M.J.R.Polkinghorne.  The paper it is printed on is thick and very rough, and the photographs are in shades of brown.  It originally had some transfers with it, but unfortunately they have gone.  

 The subjects in this one are: Plain sewing,  Hand Embroidery,  Home Dressmaking,  Mending,  Crochet,  Raffia work,  Stencilling,  Barbola, Weaving, Gesso-work,  Lampshades,  Pokerwork,  Artistic Leather work,  Basketry,  Painting on Glass and China,  Sea-Grass work, and Knitting.

This brings back memories.  My brother and I did raffia work when we were quite small,  making mats for Christmas presents for elderly relatives.  (When I was a bit older I knitted woollen pan-holders.)  And also of the sea-grass topped stools which seemed to be in every house.. 

You may wonder what Barbola is – the book says it is a simplified form of modelling, less messy than Gesso-work.  It seems Barbola paste came in tubes, and could be modelled in the same way as clay.

As for the first Embroider book I bought – it was a  ‘stitches book’,  and this is the category for my next post.


October 18, 2011. Tags: , , . Embroidery.

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