Leek Embroidery Society

Fine example of Leek embroidery. Fine example of Leek embroidery.

The Leek Embroidery Society and the associated Leek School of Embroidery were founded in 1879/1880 by the embroideress Elizabeth Wardle and her husband, Thomas Wardle. The Society, initially called the Leek Sewing Circle, produced both domestic and ecclesiastical embroidery work, that was granted prestigious awards for its fineness and high quality. Most of the work, including the dying, took place in Leek, Staffordshire.

Leek embroidery uses a small range of stitches, and loosely twisted, lustrous tussar silk, sometimes added with spangles or couched gold thread. Some of the work shows distinctive Indian influences.

The Society also organised the sale of complete embroidery kits by mail.

The Society is also known for its replica of the Bayeux tapestry (now in the Reading Museum).

See also embroidered panel (Leek).

Source: WALTON, Cathryn (2014), Hidden Lives: Leek's Extraordinary Embroiderers, Churnet Valley Books.

Digital sources: 

Digital source of illustration (retrieved 28 June 2016).


Last modified on Saturday, 04 March 2017 19:19