Dillmont, Thérèse de (1846-1890)

Thérèse de Dillmont, 1846-1890. Thérèse de Dillmont, 1846-1890.

Thérèse de Dillmont (1846-1890) was an Austrian embroideress, designer and writer, who grew up in Vienna and became famous for her association with the firm of DMC in Mulhouse. She trained as a governess and a teacher, an upbringing that included embroidery. During her time in Vienna and afterwards, she was in contact with Mrs Emilie Bach, the director of the Imperial and Royal School of Art Embroidery.

De Dillmont and her sister initially opened and ran an embroidery shop in Vienna, which sold embroidery materials, threads and designs. In 1884, Thérèse de Dillmont moved to Dornach, near Basel, Switzerland, and not far from the city of Mulhouse. Shortly afterwards she started working for the textile firm of Dollfus-Mieg et Compagnie (DMC), which was based in Mulhouse, in the Elzas, at that time part of Germany (1871-1918).

De Dillmont is famous for her Encyclopedia of Needlework, which was first published by DMC in French (1886) and since then translated into various languages. It remains a standard work for the history, practice and teaching of needlework techniques. De Dillmont was also the author of numerous booklets with embroidery patterns from around the world. These booklets and others published under the De Dillmont name by DMC include titles such as Czechoslovakian Embroidery, Cross Stitch, Moroccan Embroidery and Motifs for Embroidery. In addition, a number of DMC embroidery shops (again with De Dillmont's name) were opened under her name, in Vienna (1884), Paris (1885), Berlin (1886), and London (1887).

In 1889 Thérèse de Dillmont married Josef Scheuermann, but it would appear that DMC did not approve of this marriage because of the value of the De Dillmont name for the company. However, in 1890, shortly after her marriage, she died and her niece (with the same name) succeeded her. The niece’s contract with DMC stated that she was not to be married and not to change her name. In 1909, Thérèse de Dillmont was (re)buried in Vienna.

The Encyclopedia of Needlework came out four years after the publication of Caulfeild and Saward's Dictionary of Needlework. While the latter is more an accumulation of knowledge and details about contemporary textiles, with an emphasis on Great Britain, De Dillmont's book is strongly geared towards techniques as to how to produce various types of textiles.

Source: HELLMANN, Ruth P. (1976). 'Thérèse de Dillmont and her Encyclopedia of Needlework,' The Bulletin of the Needle and Bobbin Club, vol. 59, pp. 20-29.

Digital source of illustration (retrieved 18th June 2016).


Last modified on Monday, 01 May 2017 17:11