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Victorian Crewelwork


Victorian Crewelwork


200 x 125 cm / 6'7''x 4'1''


This embroidery is a Victorian rendition of a seventeenth-century crewelwork. It is worked in one piece; the embroidery material is wool in several shades of green and grey, the background material is a solid linen twill. It was clearly used as a curtain.

In terms of design, the crewelwork follows the fashion of the time for bed curtains with a ‘Tree of Life’ pattern, where one or more trees grow out of a mound at the bottom of the textile and are then intertwined with other trees or branches bearing bold and exotic leaves in various shapes and textures. This multitude of textures is produced by the use of a variety of stitches, including fly,  long and short stitch and French knot.

A very similar piece dating to the mid to late seventeenth century and of almost identical size, but worked in three panels, is published in Tarrant, Naomi, Textile Treasures. An Introduction to European Decorative Textiles for Home and Church in the National Museums of Scotland, Edinburgh 2001, page 47 (illustration) and pages 46 to 48.

The embroidery is in excellent condition, with a few slight stains on the twill.