Needlework as Art, 1886

Drawing of part of Charlemagne's dalmatic, as housed in the Vatican. Drawing of part of Charlemagne's dalmatic, as housed in the Vatican. Illustration in Marianne Alford's Needlework as Art, 1886, following page 318.

Needlework as Art is the title of a book by Lady Marianne (Marian) Compton, Viscountess Alford (1817-1888), which was a major influence on late nineteenth century British urban embroidery and how embroidery was perceived. The book was published in 1886 by Sampson Low, Marston, Searle, and Rivington of London.

The author regarded it as a second part of a series looking at embroidery as a decorative art. The first book was called Handbook of Art Needlework for the Royal School, South Kensington in 1880. Needlework as Art looks at various subjects, including the early history of embroidery, with examples from Europe, the Middle East and Asia. There are various chapters that look at the concept of designs and patterns, the role of artists, designers and makers, materials, colours and stitches. There are also chapters on embroidery used for wall-hangings, furniture, dress and ecclesiastical vestments and textiles. The last chapter concerns the history of English embroidery and textiles from the earliest times.

The book was dedicated “by permission” to Queen Victoria (reign: 1837-1901).

Digital source: A copy of this book is available here (retrieved 29 April 2016).


Last modified on Sunday, 20 November 2016 20:42