The Needles Excellency: English raised embroidery

edited by Lynn Hulse

London: OE Publications 2018

ISBN: 978-0-9934377-1-7


In Spring 2017, the Ashmolean Museum in Oxford hosted an exhibition of contemporary raised work made by students of Ornamental Embroidery. Inspired by Stuart domestic needlework in the Museum’s Feller and Mallett collections, the caskets and flat panels on display were designed as heirloom pieces, reflecting the personal histories and pastimes of the individual makers. The Needles Excellency was accompanied by a symposium in which scholars and practitioners explored many aspects of this exuberant three-dimensional technique, from its origins in mid seventeenth-century England through to its revival in the hands of modern embroiderers. All of the papers are published here together with an illustrated catalogue of the caskets and picture panels exhibited at the Ashmolean and in the specially curated textile galleries at the Knitting and Stitching Show 2018. 

‘It is exciting to see the tradition of raised work evolving within the revived tradition of imagery and stitching. These are new heirlooms and are worthy successors to an important English needlework tradition.’ Mary Brooks, review of The Needles Excellency exhibition (Text, for the study of textile art, deign and history, vol. 45, 2018)

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PUBLICATION DATE: 30 September 2018