In July I attended Polit Uni online and was lucky enough to see Mistress Miriam’s embroidery class. Mamluk and Middle-Eastern embroidery was a new area to me, and I suggested to my local group of embroiderer’s that we challenge ourselves to try some embroidery from this region.
I was particularly taken with this strange looking lion found on a 10-11th Century textile which is now held in the Museum of Fine Arts in Boston https://collections.mfa.org/objects/66368 (Accession Number 31.445, dimensions 11 x 9 cm).
It was found in Mesopotamia but believed to be of Egyptian make. The stitching is predominantly split stitch in silks, highlighted with metallic threads on a cream mulham (silk/cotton) base fabric.
I wasn’t sure if I wanted to use it as decoration on a
pouch, or to decorate a tunic with the design, so I decided to work it in
cotton on a cotton base fabric to see how it looked, and decide then. I used
two threads of DMC cotton and the design was marked out in frixion marker. Originally I planned to use blue thread, but changed to classic black.
Even though the sample is unfilled, it worked up fairly quickly, which actually has done little to solve my dilemma. I think I might work the design as an outline on a tunic because the design is quite striking even as an outline.
I knotted the ends of my threads for durability as the
sample is worked on a napkin which will get thrown in the washing machine.I also did a running stitch in black around the hem of the napkin to finish it off.
Many thanks to Mistress Miriam for sharing her knowledge, and the MFA Boston for their excellent online resources.