I will be demonstrating gold embroidery and selling my embroideries at the Leonhardimarkt in Geitau from 3-11-17 until 5-11-17! This fair is organised by 'Fazination Handwerk' at the beautiful old farm 'Hasenöhrlhof'. Besides me, there will be bobbin lace making, tailoring, weaving, porcelain painting, gold- & silver smiting, woodturning, carpet making, wood carving, (book) restauration, shoemaking, millenary, wax working, reverse glass painting, passementerie, painting, knife making, watchmaking, leather working, chocolate making, lebkuchen baking and federkiel embroidery. Now, there is a good chance you have never read or heard the word Federkielstickerei before. Let me explain...
Federkielstickerei uses feather quills to embroider on leather. The tail feathers of a peacock are split to produce a workable 'thread'. The leather is prepared by using an awl to prick the holes (just like the hole drilling before you can embroider on eggs). Federkielstickerei is an old craft which requires a lot of skill. A Lederhosen (traditional leather breeches) decorated with this type of embroidery has been and still is of great value and seen as a status symbol. Another common sight with traditional men's clothing in the Alpine regions of Germany, Austria and Italy is the Kraxen or broad belt.
Below is a charming short video featuring Georg Leitner, one of the last men earning his living with this ancient form of embroidery:
Hope you enjoyed this blog post and I would love to meet you at the Leonhardimarkt early November :)!
Yes, Rachel; he cuts off the fluffy bits and then splits the shafts into thin strips. That's an art in itself. The guy in the video does not want to explain how he does this exactly as it is a bit of a family secret.
You're welcome Dima!
Once I saw a man doing this in a Textile Show, I believe it was in Denmark. Wonderful wonderful products! Thanks for sharing this video!
Ah, was he from Scandinavia or was he from the Alpine region demonstrating his craft in Denmark?
Yes, and I like the passion he has for this profession. He is not going to get rich, but he appriciates his freedom. Quite a nice character, I imagine!
Hello from Canada,
Thanks Ruth! Do they need to kill the porcupine to get the needles? And do you need to split the needles or do you use them whole? What a fascinating topic this is turning in to!
Thank you for the additional information Ruth! I am wondering if people over here dye the quills too? I only ever see white, but maybe that has something to do with the current taste. Will ask during the show in November!
I am totally in awe of the skills needed for Federkielstickerei. I have never heard of it before. It is extraordinary and beautiful. Thank you so much for explaining it and for sharing your knowledge.
Oh, but it would be fun to meet up, wouldn't it? I would love to really get to know the nice people reading my blog. One day, when tele-porting is in place :)!
Well, Jessica, this article and the video took me down a veritable rabbit hole of exploration! Fascinating and beautiful technique!
I am delighted you liked it Mary!
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