Textile from a scarf or girdle with scrolling tendrils and flowers

This strip of linen is probably from the end of a scarf or girdle. It is decorated with bands of fine scrolls alternating eight-petal flowers and palmettes executed in a mixture of freestyle and counted stiches. Split stiches are used for the yellow outlines, while the blue ground and light-blue frame are executed with counted stiches.

Details

  • Catalogue text

    Three bands, each 3 cm wide and with an identical design of a scrolling tendril and leaves and flowers. The scrolls have yellow outlines worked in split stitch, against a blue background done in slanted counted filling stitch. The bands have a narrow saw-tooth edge worked in counted satin stitch.

    In: Barnes, Ruth and Marianne Ellis, ‘The Newberry Collection of Islamic Embroideries’, 4 vols, 2001, Oxford, Ashmolean Museum

    Three transverse bands embroidered with stylised flower motifs on scrolling stems decorate this linen strip from the end of a scarf or girdle. This type of design would have been marked on the ground fabric ready for the embroiderer to work in a mixture of freestyle and counted stitches. Those chosen for this embroidery were split stitch in yellow silk for the outlines of the motifs and linking stems, counted slanted stitches in dark blue silk to fill in the background, and counted satin stitches in light blue silk to form border lines of small triangles. It is one of the most attractive pieces in the collection and demonstrates how both freestyle and counted thread embroidery stitches were employed at this period to achieve the desired effect.

    In: Ellis, Marianne, Embroideries and Samplers from Islamic Egypt (Oxford: Ashmolean Museum, in association with Greenville: Curious Works Press, 2001)

Further reading

Ellis, Marianne, Embroideries and Samplers from Islamic Egypt (Oxford: Ashmolean Museum, in association with Greenville: Curious Works Press, 2001), no. 41 on p. 60, illus. pp. 60-61

Barnes, Ruth and Marianne Ellis, ‘The Newberry Collection of Islamic Embroideries’, 4 vols, 2001, Oxford, Ashmolean Museum, p. 73 (vol. iv), vol. iv p. 73

Reference URL

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