Century Old Christening Gown

Drawn Thread Work

Wow! A few weeks ago I had the privilege of handling a century old christening gown.   The gown design was all done in hand embroidered drawn thread work.   It was absolutely lovely and the embroidery was impeccable.   I was asked to recreate this gown – what an interesting challenge this will be. 

Drawn thread work is the art of withdrawing the weft threads from a piece of fabric and then doing embroidery over the remaining vertical warp threads.   Beautiful lacey designs are created by the various ways in which the warp threads are manipulated with the hand embroidered stitches and needle weaving.   Traditionally this type of work was done on even weave fabrics such as linen.   This christening gown appears to have been made of a linen batiste fabric.   Currently I am searching for a fabric that will be supple and soft enough for a christening gown, the threads may be easily withdrawn, and the fabric will be strong enough to support the hand embroidery stitches.   I have located several sources and samples are on the way.   I’m keeping my fingers crossed that one of the samples will be exactly what I am searching for.

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