A real Portuguese Treasure!

Arnold’s Attic

This unique booklet of embroidery and drawnwork, was created in Portugal in the early 17th century. Size 8 inches x 6 inches.

The techniques include cross stitch, reticello, drawnwork, satin stitch, knots and bullion stitch.

At some point fairly early in its history, the many small pieces of fabric included in this booklet were seamed together and loosely bound, to create a kind of glossary of colored and monochrome openwork patterns. Scraps of silk, glove leather and writing paper with Portuguese text were employed to stabilize the pages. The recycling of materials and the compact nature of the booklet all suggest that this was a purely practical reference work for a professional seamstress, and was not meant for display. Some of the patterns are worked in double running stitch, also referred to as “Spanish stitch,” reflecting its possible origin on the Iberian peninsula in the sixteenth century.

Made from linen, silk, leather and paper.

Image courtesy: https://www.metmuseum.org/art/collection/search/221650

2 thoughts on “A real Portuguese Treasure!

  1. Fascinating! The colours are interesting too. What an amazing glimpse into someone’s life and the clothing and needlework of the time,


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