Sometimes, medieval goldwork embroidery has been purposefully flattened after it was finished. This is for instance the case with the Kaisergewänder in Bamberg. Burnishing or hammering finished goldwork embroidery was probably done to enhance the smoothness of the surface to make it resemble gold leaf or goldsmithing work. Whilst the flattening is clearly visible on high-resolution pictures, and certainly revealed in a cross-section of the goldthread, we do not know how it was done. Did they burnish the finished surface with a rounded piece of bone? Did they actually hammer the threads flat? Time for an experiment:
Hmm, not at all the result I was expecting ... Is this due to the difference in materials? Or is there another way to flatten goldthreads? Or what if they used pre-flattened goldthreads (called flatworm) in the first place? I would love to hear your thoughts on the matter! Please leave your comments below.
P.S. My husband and I are getting vaccinated this week! From today, Bavaria allows everyone, regardless of priority, to get vaccinated by their family doctor if they want to. Bittersweet: due to widespread vaccine-scepticism in our rural area, we got an appointment right away. Feeling immensely grateful!
As the lock-down here in Bavaria, and indeed elsewhere, continues till at least the 19th of April, my embroidery courses at the open-air museum Glentleiten and the stumpwork course here in my studio had to be cancelled. Unfortunately, teaching is literally my bread-and-butter. Over the past two weeks, I have been looking into other avenues of promoting my embroidery business and making up for the financial downturn. One project will be another eBook. It will be on a little-known counted medieval embroidery technique with huge potential. I hope to be able to release it next week. The other project underhand is starting a FlossTube channel on medieval embroidery. The second episode is now up:
In these short videos, I'll talk about a specific aspect of medieval embroidery. In the first one, we explore the name acupictrix and the Babylonian confusion regarding the word 'embroidery' in Greek and Roman written sources. If you have missed it, you can watch it below. In the second episode, I'll show you how to search a fantastic online catalogue of medieval (textile) art in the Netherlands. It contains many high-resolution pictures of embroidery which you can download and use freely as long as you cite the source.
I am currently working on the third episode in which we will explore the rich silken fabrics used for these magnificent medieval goldwork embroideries. Please subscribe to my channel, give me the thumbs up and help me to promote my business. These are crazy times and we will only make it if we support one another. Thank you!
P.S. Did you like this blog article? Did you learn something new? When yes, then please consider making a small donation. Visiting museums and doing research inevitably costs money. Supporting me and my research is much appreciated ❤!
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