Design transfer

Design transfer

An air-erasable marker is used to draw lines and/or motifs on a piece of fabric, for further sewing or embroidery. The marked lines or motifs disappear by themselves within fourteen days or so.

Berlin wool work charts are pre-printed charts with a wide range of designs, which were initially made in the first half of the nineteenth century in Berlin (hence their name) and later copied by printers in many countries. This type of chart was used for Berlin wool work, a form of canvas embroidery that was popular in many countries in the nineteenth century.

A canvas guide is a piece of cloth, the use of which was developed together with the advent of fine, machine woven cloth, when it became more difficult to produce counted thread embroidery.

The Textile Research Centre in Leiden has some pattern slips or sheets for crochet or embroidery, which used to be rolled up in DMC balls of thread. The slips measure 22-24 x 4 cm.

An embroidery block is a small block used to hand-print a design outline onto a ground cloth. It is normally c. 3-5 cm in size and can come in a variety of shapes, such as squares or triangles. The required design may be (a) carved into the block, (b) formed by metal strips, (c) engraved onto a metal plate and then fastened to a wooden base, (d) rubber moulded, or (e) made by some other technique.

For centuries, lined and graph paper charts have been domestically and commercially available for creating counted thread embroidery designs, especially in cross stitch and tent stitch. Until the middle of the nineteenth century, coloured charts in Europe and America had to be hand painted in order to indicate the correct colours. Later in the century, machine printed charts became available.

The Textile Research Centre in Leiden holds a number of printing blocks from India. They include blocks specifically used for transferrring designs in preparation of embroidery. The present block is about 5 x 5 cm. In the centre it has an X-shaped motif enclosed by squares with an elaborate outer border.

Embroidery printing rollers are small, hand-held devices used to transfer a design. They were popular in some European countries during the nineteenth century and were often used as an aid to the production of domestic embroidery, especially for the decorative edges of undergarments. Removable rollers with suitable handles were produced by various commercial firms (especially in France) and sold for the domestic market.

The Victoria and Albert Museum in London houses the packaging of an embroidery design published by Weldon's Ltd. It dates to the early twentieth century and measures 13.9 x 21.2 cm. This is Weldon's design No. 812, of the Clematis, and its variety known as "John Murray".

A former is a term used in straw work. It is a template (flat or round, like a button) around which a length of damp straw (either whole or a strip) is wrapped.

Goldwork templates are made out of card, felt, leather, parchment or something similar. They are used at professional workshops and by embroiderers that produce goldwork

An initial stamp is a small instrument, usually with a wooden handle, which has a single (decorative) initial carved into it. The inscribed end of the stamp is covered with a washable ink (usually in black or dark blue) and pressed on a textile or garment in order to mark it. Often the printed design is then embroidered.

A monogram stencil is a piece of metal (usually copper, tin or zinc), about 18 x 16 cm in size (but this can vary), with sets of initials in different styles and sizes cut or punched out. The initials act as templates that can be filled in or outlined using a pencil or ink and then embroidered.

The Rijksmuseum in Amsterdam holds a paper pattern (149 x 113 mm) for embroidery motifs. The patterns, together with other examples that are also housed in the Rijksmuseum, are attributed to Daniel Meijer and are dated to the years between 1618 and 1623. The print was published in Paris. The patterns were designed for goldwork embroidery with gemstones, and may have been used for emblems for high-status people.

The Textile Research Centre, Leiden, the Netherlands, houses a paper template (30 x 32 cm) for embroidery, from among the Miao ethnic minority in southern China. The template dates to the early twenty-first century.

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