Levey 1998

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Levey, Santina M. An Eliabethan Inheritance: The Hardwick Hall Textiles. London: The National Trust, 1998.

metal thread embroidery, "highly skilled and when combined with fine wool or silk it was the preserve of the professional male embroiderer"; applique, also (42)

"Seamstresses were responsible for pieces stitched with linen thread, but those worked with silk and metal were produced by the silkwomen, who were importers and dealers in metal threads and raw silk, which they also turned into thread and a variety of braids, fringes and other types of passementerie. As decorated linen became increasingly fashionable, this developed into a specialist branch of their work. It was also practised by skilled amateurs but it was never taken up by the professional male embroiderers." (43)

wrought linen occasionally referred to as "needlework", "a name harking back to a medieval technique in which thel inen was entirely hidden by stitches, as on the hoods and orphreys of church vestments" -- in 16c, more acurately applied to canvas work, "where the ground is covered by cross, tent and other stitches" (48)

"A design for a particular object or detail of a building might be drawn out by one craftsman for another, regarless of their respective specialities, and it is not surprising that marked similarities can be found at the New Hall between designs carved in stone and wood, painted and stencilled on flat surfaces, or worked in embroidery and needlework. Te easy acceptance of such interchanges is provided by a casual comment in a letter from Mary Markham to Bess's daughter Mary Talbot; she was, she said, arranging to have a rush mat made and had got the pattern from the painter." (51-52)
"Embroiderers, particuarly amateurs, were dependent on others for the transfer of their chosen designs to the working linen or canvas, and the underdrawing, which is visible on several of the Hardwick pieces, is of variable quality, reflecting an input both from skilled workmen like John Balechouse and enthusiastic members of the household." (52)
"An intriguing detail of the design is the inclusion at one end of an elaborate balance, from which hang trophies composed, on the one side, of painters' tools and, on the other, of embroiderers'. It would be interesting to know whether Bess had been present a decade earlier, when the newly imprisoned Scottish Queen had 'entered into a pretty disputable comparison between carving, painting, and working with the needle, affirming painting in her opinion for the most commendable quality'. Bess seems to have remained more open-minded or perhaps the question had become a joke between the painter and embroiderer who drew out and worked the carpet." (54)