Men, Women and Clothes

I’ve just come across this amazing series from 1957 in the BBC archives called Men, Women and Clothes. The six episodes were presented by the formidable fashion historian, Doris Langley Moore, and the series was the BBC’s first in colour. The whole series is available, free, online here.

Doris Langley Moore in the first episode – Men, Women and Clothes: How Fashions Come and Go, 1957.

Swedish Embroidery

A recent discovery at a fleamarket of a beautiful old book on Swedish embroidery has got me inspired.

Here’s the book, published in 1953, which came with a sheaf of patterns to use:

And here are some examples I found online which I love:

Example of huck weaving

Embroidered Mittens, in an exhibition at Liljevalchs.

Bracelet, early 19th century, Sweden, metal mesh and silk, counted thread embroidery.

Carriage cushion, 1795, Skåne, Sweden, free embroidery in wool thread on wool twill.

Useful Links:

textilgalleriet – This site has some impressive close-up pictures of textiles, I love being able to see the stitches. There is also a great ‘Arbetsbilder’ or ‘labour photos’ section, with images of women working on different crafts.

Needleprint – Bursting with great pictures and designs, and excellent list of museums with textile collections.

Huck weaving – Some history, step-by-step tutorials with photos and examples of huck weaving. Lovely!

I’ve started to practice a little bit of counted thread embroidery, but could do with a focused project to get me started. Any ideas?

A Trip to the Victoria and Albert Museum

Yesterday I paid a visit to the V&A Museum with Sayed and our friend John, hoping to visit Light from the Middle East: New Photography.

Unfortunately, I failed to account for it not opening until the 13th November.

So, what to see? The idea of going to their current paid exhibition Hollywood Costume on a busy Saturday afternoon made all of us wrinkle our noses, so we struck out in a random direction, up a flight of stairs and into pretty much the first gallery we found.

Wow. These are some of things I was engrossed in for the next three hours:

Woman’s Smock, England, 1575 – 1585, Linen embroidered in silk.

Knitted Jacket, Italy, 1600 – 1620, silk and silver, hand knitted and sewn.

Pair of Mittens, England, ca. 1600, Crimson velvet and white satin, embroidered with silver and silver-gilt thread, coloured silks, beads and spangles.

Embroidered linen cloth, England, 1570 – 1600, linen, embroidered in silk with bobbin lace border. In the verses framing the central image, the artist has cleverly replaced some words with images, known as rebuses.

N.B. These objects were all on display in the British Galleries, Room 57 and adjoining galleries. Since the V&A rotates its display to protect objects from light damage, they will not be on display indefinitely. Also, the online collection entry for an object may state ‘in storage’ but actually be on display, and visa versa.

All images © Victoria and Albert Museum, London