Java Canvas Work

Embroidered Java canvas slipper. Embroidered Java canvas slipper. From Isabelle Beeton, 1870, Fig. 208.

Java canvas work was a popular form of embroidery in the late nineteenth century, named after its ground material (Java canvas, aida). It was used for mats, music cases, work cases, and any article that requires a pliable, yet moderately stiff foundation (including slippers!). The embroidery was worked with wool, silk or filoselle silk threads.

The main stitches were cross stitch, flat stitch, French knots, rice stitch (point de riz), satin stitch, and so forth. The patterns associated with this form of embroidery are generally simple geometric designs, worked in large open stitches over the canvas. Often part of the canvas ground was left visible, as its stiff nature made it difficult to fill up with needlework. 

Source: CAULFEILD, Sophia F. A. and Blanche C. SAWARD (1882). The Dictionary of Needlework, London: Upcott Gill, p. 278.


Last modified on Sunday, 14 May 2017 12:29