Art of Embroidery: History of Style and Technique

July 25, 2010


This coffee-table style book, written by Lanto Synge, the former chief executive of Mallett Plc, a British antique business well-known for furniture and historic textiles, is very much an “art history” book. Synge sets the tone in his introduction when he states that “the history of decorative needlework is intriguing and diverse, with a world-wide richness and broad, human implications. A study of it takes us into many periods and facets of social history, since embroidery is one of man’s oldest skills, referring us to each branch of the fine and decorative arts and pointing to fascinating interplays of inspiration and design generally.” From this jumping off point, Synge discusses the important aspects of decorative needlework from the 5th century BC up to the 20th century.

From all of this information, one of the things that struck me most was a sentence at the beginning of the bibliography; and one with which I agree wholeheartedly. It is Synge’s opinion that “reading good descriptions of old textiles can be nearly as enjoyable for a reasonably experienced enthusiast as seeing them.” If you would like to see what else is in the book you can find it at all of the usual retail outlets.


2 Responses to “Art of Embroidery: History of Style and Technique”

  1. Joyce Harmon said

    I have real old Brabants nickel plated sharps best needles of Redditch, England #7 gold eyed sharpes. Do you know anyone who would be interested in these needles ?

    • Hi Joyce,

      Perhaps you could sell them on-line or donate them to your local needlework guild (Embroiderers’ Guild of America or American Needlepoint Guild.) Where are you located?


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