Professions and functions

Professions and functions

Acupictor (pl. acupictores) is a medieval Latin term for embroiderer. The Latin word literally means ‘painter with a needle'. This term should not be confused with ‘ACU pictures’ – this term stands for Army Combat Uniforms and refers to USA army uniforms (this term appears when googling).

Beader is late twentieth century jargon for anyone who makes decorative items with beads.

Broderer is an English term dating back to the Middle Ages. It refers to a worker (usually male) in hand embroidery. The term broderer is derived from the French word broderie or ‘embroidery.’

'Cathedral's broderer' is the official title of the embroiderers (professionals and volunteers) of St Paul’s Cathedral, London. They are responsible for the embroidered vestments and other textiles held by St Paul's Cathedral in London.

An embroiderer is a man who designs and stitches an embroidery. The female equivalent is an ‘embroideress'. By the end of the twentieth century, the term embroiderer was often used for either a man or a woman. At the same time the word embroiderer also means someone who creates a piece of art (rather than a functional item), using one or more embroidery techniques.

Flowerer is a nineteenth century nickname given to a woman who made Ayrshire whitework embroidery, which was well known for its floral motifs, hence the name.

Kanakara is a Greek term from the island of Karpathos and refers to the first born girl in a family. The male equivalent is a kanakaris. Until the mid-twentieth century, the island of Karpathos in the southeastern part of the Aegean Sea had a local inheritance tradition and law that meant that first born sons and daughters were treated differently from their younger siblings.

King's (Queen's) Embroiderer was an official position, from the late medieval period onwards, within the Great Wardrobe, a branch of the English monarch’s court.

The term lace runner can be used in different ways. It was, for example, a nineteenth century English term for a person who hand embroidered lengths of machine net with darning stitches or running stitches. The term can also be used for strips of net or cloth, such as linen decorated with lace or embroidery of some kind. These were intended to run down, for instance, a table centre. Sometimes these strips are mistaken for stoles.

A lacemaker is a general term used to describe someone who makes hand or machine lace. With respect to the hand lace forms, the term is mostly used for someone who makes bobbin lace, rather than, for example, needle lace.

Needler is an American term for a person who stitches an embroidery pattern.

Needleworker is a term, used especially in North America, for anyone who makes (decorative) items with a needle. The term is also used to indicate anyone engaged in needlework, when opposed to embroidery. This definition/use of the word needleworker does not appear in either the English Oxford Dictionary (UK) or the Merriam-Webster Dictionary (USA).

Pattern maker is an eighteenth century English term for a man or woman who professionally made embroidery and lace patterns.

Quilter is a term used in English-language quilting groups to refer to either of two people making quilts. These two are: 1. the person who designs and/or makes a quilt top, or 2. the person who stitches or ties the layers of a quilt together. This may or may not be the same person who designs and/or stitches the quilt top.

Runner is a nineteenth century term for people who embroidered machine nets using running or darning stitches.

Silkwoman is an English term for a woman who imported silk and metal threads, worked them into embroideries and/or braids, fringes and other types of passementerie. There is written evidence for the existence of 'silkwomen' in Paris (France) in the fourteenth century.

Stitcher is originally an American term for a person who performs the last steps in finishing an item of clothing in a garment factory or atelier.

Tapissier is a French term that is sometimes incorrectly associated with an embroiderer or stitcher. Originally the term tapissier was used to describe someone who wove tapestries. By the sixteenth century the term also included anyone who mended tapestries.