Tinsel Embroidery

December 22, 2009

As you’re putting the tinsel on your tree don’t forget that tinsel embroidery and tinsel thread have been around since at least the 1800s. According to the Encyclopedia of Victorian Needlework tinsel embroidery “is worked upon net, tulle and thin muslin materials and is an imitation of the Turkish embroideries with gold thread upon crepe. The patterns are in outline and consist of geometrical or arabesque designs which should be simple and with lines rather wide apart.”

The Drygoodsman’s Handy Dictionary, published in 1912, defined tinsel embroidery as embroidery on thin material with tinsel thread. Tinsel was also a popular element in hat making. The New York Times published a millinery report in its June 22, 1919 edition. Quoting from the Retail Millinery Association bulletin “too much cannot be said of tinsel embroidery…for the upcoming season.” 

And you thought tinsel was just for the Christmas tree!!

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2 Responses to “Tinsel Embroidery”

  1. Moranna said

    Interesting, but I would have thought working with tinsel would be hard?

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