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By the early 17th century, simplified patterns and outlines for embroidery were being provided by print sellers. Many of these designs were inspired by the illustration of birds, animals, insects and plants found in illustrated natural history and botanical books, which were very popular at the time.
This was a commercial provision for the needs of the amateur embroiderer; the print sellers not only provided books and separate sheets of embroidery designs but also patterns printed directly on cloth as seen here. The use by amateur embroiderers of prepared designs was known from at least the 16th century. Mary Queen of Scots, while imprisoned in Lochleven Castle in 1568, petitioned for 'an imbroderer to drawe forthe such worke as she would be occupied about'.
Textile of block-printed linen for embroidery in black, and shows various animals amongst a plant setting.
Place of Origin
Materials and Techniques
Height: 15.25 in, Width: 6.75 in
Textile of block-printed linen, England, 1600-1649
Insects; Rabbit; Strawberries; Butterfly; Caterpillar; Lion; Birds; Flowers
Textiles and Fashion Collection