Posts Tagged ‘antique textiles’

ANOTHER COMPARISON of Old Embroidery versus New

May 26, 2012

Yes, I am an embroidery snob. But… I believe that things must be produced with inherent quality and thoughtfulness.

The following photo shows a modern Turkish style pile loop cotton towel that has been embroidered with lovebirds. This towel is a major brand, called Yves Delorme and it cost over $40 in 2008. I loved the colors and loved the design but the quality of the embroidery is deplorable. I even turned it over to look at the back, thinking that the front side was the “wrong” side and that the back would be the better side. Nope.

There is no comparison between the clunky, crude stitches of this modern machine-sewn towel and the infinitesimally tiny stitches that were embroidered by hand a hundred years earlier on the white linen towel at the left. However, I do like that I can fold the towels easily in half and the embroidery appears on the front. (no triple-folding)

Thoughtfulness should extend to the overall piece.

The pillow shams that match this Yves Delorme towel are of cotton printed with a delightful design of cockatoos, parrots and peonies that are spaced far apart against a leaf frond lattice background. They are attractive and well made but the makers did not make the one last effort that would have made them acceptable, or even extraordinary: I expected a cockatoo or a parrot to be centered on each sham. Moreover, since one side is white fabric and side number two is aqua, I expected a major design element to be present in the center on each side! But, they are made from any pieces of fabric and one has half a bird but most sides just have the lattice background. They do not include the motifs that I would consider most desirable and most expected. Instead, they feature the plain background with no centered birds. Yes, it’s cheaper that way to use leftover fabric scraps and turn them into shams. I think it’s also shoddy and lazy. They just don’t expect anyone to notice.

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Embroidery Comparison, Antique and Modern

May 26, 2012

See what you think. Although I know I am an embroidery snob, I know there is also a reason to own sturdy modern embroidery that we can use without fear of destroying something too precious to use.

This modern guest towel is embroidered by machine with a dragonfly. It is quite pretty.

Next, compare it to a monogram on the traycloth of a breakfast set that was made nearly a hundred years old and was embroidered by hand. The dragonfly is crude by comparison.

The next photo contrasts the modern dragonfly towel with the traycloth and two embroidered white linen antique towels.

These items each have their place in the world.