Medieval embroidery was a painstaking and precise art form, performed by skilled embroiderers – both men and women – mostly based in the city of London. This film shows contemporary embroiderer Rosie Taylor-Davies recreating a detail from a 700-year-old fragment of English embroidery. Working entirely by hand, she demonstrates the intricate process and skill of 14th-century embroiderers, who created some of England’s most beautiful and elaborate textile art.
First the design is drawn out on paper and transferred to the fabric with charcoal in a technique known as 'pouncing'. The design is then embroidered using two techniques which were characteristic of English medieval embroidery: split stitch (shown here with white and colored silk thread), and underside couching (usually silver or gold, as here).
Opus Anglicanum: Masterpieces of English Medieval Embroidery
1 October 2016 – 5 February 2017