For the past couple of months, I have been investigating a particular silk embroidery technique from Tyrol. In lieu of a better name, I called it 'Italian couching'. Since this name is already taken in the embroidery universe for not one, but two very different embroidery techniques, I have dropped it. The sparse German literature on the matter refers to it as 'linen vestments from Tyrol'. Perfect! Taken.
What is so special about this particular silk on linen embroidery? Several things. But my most recent discovery involved the embroidery technique itself. Upon closely studying my pictures I had taken in the Diözesanmuseum in Brixen, I discovered that there were no short stitches in the laid-work. Not even when a shape narrowed. Hmmm. Not a 'normal' Bayeux stitch in silk after all. So what did the stitchers from Tyrol do different?
Basically, to achieve a curving petal or leaf, they sculpt their laid-work when placing the long couching stitches on top. As this is a little hard to explain in writing, I made my first ever instruction video. You'll see me work a simple leaf. Whilst stitching the laid-work, I sometimes push previous stitches out of the way. When adding the long couching stitches, I really 'work' my laid-work to form a nicely curved leaf with really nice tips. And I think this is the reason why the Tyrolian stitchers 'sculpted' some of the embroidery elements: really, really nice tips! And I think this sculpting is what makes this style of embroidery differ from, for instance, the Castelo Branco embroidery from Portugal. But please correct me if I am wrong.
By the way, you can help me a lot in promoting my YouTube channel! Please take the time to not only like my video, but please also subscribe to my channel. The more views, but especially subscribers, and my videos will get noticed by many more stitchers. I will try to add to my channel regularly. And I also have an ebook in the pipeline on these linen vestments from Tyrol. So far, I have written up instructions for two of the eight flower designs seen on the chasuble from Brixen.
But first: I am going on my first official holiday in about six years! I am not teaching embroidery at my destination, nor am I attending a conference on archaeology. And neither is my husband :). To make sure that I will relax as much as possible, I won't read my email, nor will I do any Social Media. And no blog either, sorry. This means that any orders placed before Friday the 30th of March 24:00h CET, will ship before I head to Crete. Later orders will not ship before Monday the 16th of April. In the meantime, have fun watching my video!
Jessica M. Grimm
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