Slip, embroidered by Mary, Queen of Scots (1542-1587). Slip, embroidered by Mary, Queen of Scots (1542-1587). Copyright Victoria and Albert Museum, London, acc. no. T.33J-1955.

A slip is a medieval, and later, English term for a small decorated piece of fabric, sometimes in the form of a single flower or animal. The slip is worked on a separate cloth and then cut out and sewn down onto a larger item, such as a hanging. It is related to a gardening term for a small twig, spring or shoot that is grafted onto another plant.

Among the effects of Mary, Queen of Scots (1542–1587), left at Hardwick Hall (England) following her execution, were 53 slips with flowers, 124 slips with birds, 16 of animals and 52 of fishes. Some of these slips were already cut out and ready for mounting.

See also the TRC Needles entry on the Oxburgh embroidered hangings.


  • LEVEY, Santina M. (1998). An Elizabethan Inheritance: The Hardwick Hall Textiles, London: The National Trust, p. 60, fig. 53.
  • Shorter Oxford English Dictionary: ‘slip’.

V&A online catalogue (retrieved 8th July 2016).


Last modified on Saturday, 13 May 2017 18:59
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