What’s Old is New Again

June 30, 2009

javaThe Encyclopedia of Victorian Needlework defines Aida Canvas  as  “…a description of linen cloth.” It is referred to by a variety of other names including Aida Cloth and Java Canvas. The cotton version is referred to as Basket Cloth or Connaught. It appears that the names are used interchangeably. Interestingly Java Canvas was used in the “new” technique called Kreuzstich Stickerei which, according to the EoVN, is “cross stitch upon thick materials”. Kreuzstich Stickerei, which originated in Germany, “presents no difficulty to the worker beyond the counting of the stitches upon a pattern, and its quaintness and adaptability to the decoration of articles in daily use will recommend itself to all.”  There is an accompanying illustration of the Java Canvas which looks remarkably like the Aida Cloth we know today. Whenever we work our counted cross stitch it appears that we might just be carrying on the work begun by our counterparts in the 19th century!


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