The Influence of Embroidery

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Two designs from Goldcrest Gallery showing the influence of embroidery - Cross Stitch and Spanish Blackwork

The Influence of Embroidery

The search for inspiration is a constant one for artists and designers. Creating designs that are varied and novel consumes ideas, which need to be refreshed. Designers not only look to nature for inspiration, but also to the work of other artists and craftsmen. Several lovely designs in the Goldcrest Gallery greeting card collection reveal the influence of embroidery, as an inspiration.

Cross Stitch

‘Cross Stitch’ is an original 1970s textile design, which has been created using elements from 16th Century embroidery. The floral motifs are adapted from Elizabethan embroidered floral designs. These would have been worked originally in satin stitch. For the hand-painted design in ‘Cross Stitch’, designers’ gouache has been used in two shades of mauve. Smaller flowers are painted in golden yellow, inspired by the rich gold thread which can be seen in Tudor embroidery.

Historical 16th Century embroidery design often features fine swirling stems, which curl around flowers and foliage, linking them together. The designer of ‘Cross Stitch’ was inspired by this to add delicate scrolling lines around the floral motifs, drawn in pen and ink. Originally the embroidered lines were worked in stem stitch.

Blackwork embroidery was extremely popular in Tudor times. In ‘Cross Stitch’, the vine leaf motifs have been outlined in pen and ink, and filled in with fine crosshatching. This subtly shaded effect would once have been embroidered with cross stitching. The brown lines on a cream background create a softer version of blackwork embroidery.

Spanish Blackwork

Our beautiful greeting card, ‘Spanish Blackwork’, has a black and white pattern derived from historical blackwork embroidery. Blackwork was introduced to England in 1501 by Catherine of Aragon. The lacey appearance of this type of embroidery made it very popular. In addition to the flower and animal motifs in Tudor embroidery, blackwork included abstract and geometric patterns. Backstitch and double running stitch were chosen to sew outlines, and the shapes were filled in with satin stitch. ‘Spanish Blackwork’ has two central floral emblems in a square formation. Similarly, there are six smaller motifs with four petals in each. The background of this design imitates counted threadwork in a diamond pattern.

Both ‘Cross Stitch‘ and ‘Spanish Blackwork‘ are available as 5″x7″ greeting cards, and ‘Cross Stitch‘ is also available as one of our A3 fine art prints. Find some fresh inspiration and enjoy the influence of embroidery in our lovely designs!