400-Year-Old Needlework Gets an Upgrade

February 2018

Michael loves the upgrade to his Elizabethan stump work piece.

Michael loves the upgrade to his Elizabethan stump work piece.

Michael brought us this Elizabethan needlework piece called stump work.  Stump work originated in the 1600’s and is three-dimensional embroidery made by layering stitches and stitching around wires and attaching the 3-D elements onto the needlework.  Stump work usually depicts things from nature, like flowers and birds.

This piece was very delicate and the silk ground was deteriorating.  We had to stabilize it and find mats and a frame that would enhance it.  We also had to back it with a fabric mat to camouflage the holes that were in it.  Below are the before and after pictures.  We think this really showcases the beautiful old handwork.  We also upgraded to all acid-free materials and UV filtering non-reflective Museum Glass to protect the needlework.

It is fun to imagine who created this and where it has been for the last 400 years.  Michael received it as a gift from an ex-inlaw who lived in England who really wanted him to have it.  Enjoy!

Before Reframing

Before Reframing

With New Framing!

With New Framing!

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