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Sleeve panel

  • Place of origin:

    Great Britain, United Kingdom (made)

  • Date:

    1610-1620 (made)

  • Artist/Maker:

    Unknown (production)

  • Materials and Techniques:

    Linen and silk thread; hand-embroidered

  • Museum number:


  • Gallery location:

    In Storage

According to the tailoring methods of the 17th century, sleeves were cut in two pieces. This panel corresponds to the under sleeve of a woman’s jacket.

It is worked in an embroidery technique called blackwork, with a single colour of silk, usually black, but also sometimes blue, red or, greenn on linen. Blackwork was particularly popular for dress accessories such as handkerchiefs, coifs, caps, shirts and smocks.

This is a very accomplished example of 17th-century blackwork in the speckling style. The arrangement of tiny running stitches in black mimics the subtle shading of woodblock prints, giving a three-dimensional effect to the pattern. The design is also very skilful in its naturalism, particularly the insects depicted. Grasshoppers, dragonflies, butterflies, moths, caterpillars and beetles, along with a single spider’s web enliven the embroidery.

Physical description

An under sleeve of linen embroidered with black silk in stem and speckling stitch. The pattern consists of scrolling stems bearing vine leaves and grapes, with grasshoppers, dragonflies, butterflies, caterpillars, frogs, a spider web, snail, moth and beetle. A modern backing has been added for support.

Place of Origin

Great Britain, United Kingdom (made)


1610-1620 (made)


Unknown (production)

Materials and Techniques

Linen and silk thread; hand-embroidered


Length: 61.5 cm overall, approx., Width: 21.5 cm at top, approx.

Descriptive line

Sleeve panel of a woman's garment, 1610-1620, British; linen embroidered in blackwork with vine and grapes, insects in speckling stitch

Subjects depicted

Grapes; Butterfly; Vine leaves; Frog; Grasshopper; Snail; Moth; Dragonfly; Caterpillar; Beetle; Spider web


Clothing; Fashion; Embroidery; Europeana Fashion Project

Collection code


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