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MERLASSINO, Anna Ghigo (2000). Il Ricamo Bandera: L’arte della pittura ad ago, Chieri (Turin): Associazione Amici del Ricamo Bandera. Softback, 32 pp., fully illustrated in colour, no bibliography.

Chieri is a town in Piedmont region of northern Italy, about 11 km southeast of Turin. It is home to a particular type of embroidery called Il Ricamo Bandera or Bandera embroidery. It is characterized by the use of free-style work, using a particular type of cotton cloth with a heavy, small honeycomb surface. This type of cloth is called bandera and is woven in the region. The embroidery is carried out using satin stitch filling and chain stitch worked in a thick, perlé style cotton thread in various colours.

This type of cloth is first noted in documents in the 15th century and it would appear that bandera embroidery started to be carried out shortly afterwards. However, it was only in the 17th century that it became an established form of Italian embroidery. It was originally used to embellish household and church furnishings, rather than for clothing.

Recommendation: This booklet is produced by the Associazione Amici del Ricamo Bandera Chieri (‘Association of Friends of Bandera Embroidery, Chieri’) and is my first introduction to the subject of bandera. It has made me want to find out more. The booklet is a useful guide for anyone wanting to learn a ‘new’ style of embroidery with respect to history, examples and so forth. They also provide details about where to go for classes, kits, etc. Well worth getting hold of a copy.

Gillian Vogelsang-Eastwood, November 2017




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