Collection Online

Section of an apron
1711

Artist/s name
Medium
cotton (muslin, thread, braid)
Measurements
91.5 x 121.0 cm
Place/s of Execution
(England)
Accession Number
D36-1978
Department
International Fashion and Textiles
Credit Line
National Gallery of Victoria, Melbourne
Gift of Mrs N. McLeish, 1978
Gallery location
NGV Kids Gallery
Ground Level, NGV International
About

Muslin was one of the most popular fabrics imported into England from India in the late seventeenth and early eighteenth century. For embroidery, muslins were first stretched on a frame or attached to a paper backing. Designs were either taken from textile prototypes or printed sources, and could be drawn by the amateur embroiderer, an embroidery teacher or a trained designer. The outlandish birds embroidered on this apron show various sources, from the Indian peacock and Chinese phoenix to earlier English needlework bird motifs seen in seventeenth-century embroidery. The sinuous linear design recalls that of European ‘bizarre’ silk brocades.

—text from Exquisite Threads (Apr 2015)