Modern embroidered laundry mark. Modern embroidered laundry mark.

Marking is a term that may refer to the use of an embroidered initial, monogram, number, shape or word to denote the maker or owner of an object, such as a napkin, tablecloth, or item of clothing. Marking was used to identify a person’s or family’s property, especially when something was sent to be laundered.

It was also used to identify how many items of one particular type a person owned (6/24 on a napkin, for example, refers to the 6th napkin of a set of 24). Some people marked an object with two or three small initials relating to their first and last (family) names. This form was generally worked in cross stitch. Other people drew or used an engraved stamp (initial stamp), with one or more initials, which was dipped into a permanent marking ink and then stamped on an object or garment. The resulting initial was often then worked in satin stitch (sometimes known as French embroidery).

In the first half of the twentieth century in Northwestern Europe, an alternative form was the monogram stencil (also sometimes called an initial stencil), a metal square or rectangle with a series of monograms in different styles and sizes cut or punched out of it. These acted as templates that could be used to mark a symbol or symbols using a pencil or ink, which were then embroidered.

See also the TRC Needles entry on a marking sampler.

Digital source of illustration (retrieved 25th May 2016).


Last modified on Friday, 05 May 2017 10:32