7 || Countdown to Backspace Forward

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Jan 1

Made and worn over 150 years ago, number 7 in the countdown to Backspace Forward is a cap made of exquisite embroidery worked on very sheer cotton fabric, in white cotton thread. Using a mixture of surface embroidery and drawn thread work, the maker has created a detailed floral pattern. The surface embroidery sections include padded areas of stitching that makes the motif “pop.” For the drawn thread areas the maker has experimented with different patterns so each area of openwork looks different. In drawn thread work, selected threads of the base fabric are cut out, and the remaining threads are embroidered to create the lacy effect.

5. Embroidered cap. Ayrshire embroidery on cotton lawn fabric. C. 1850s. Cap belonged to Mary Grew, but craftsperson is unknown.

Embroidered cap (detail)

Some of the visitors to the in-person viewing of the historical works for Backspace Forward were mesmerized by the fineness, level of intricacy, and mind-bogglingly detailed hand-work in this piece.  It’s easy to imagine the bundle of long hair tucked into the top pouch of this delicate cap.  The piece seems ripe for modern reinterpretation, and we’ll be curious to see what new forms may emerge from this call for submissions.

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