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Encyclopedia of Needlework   By: (1846-1890)

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To be had:

of TH. DE DILLMONT, DORNACH, Alsace, and at all booksellers, and embroidery shops.

Price, English bound with gilt edges:

English edition Sh. 3. French edition Fr. 5.75 German edition Mk. 3.


The absolute want of any comprehensive book on needlework such an one as contains both verbal and pictorial descriptions of everything included under the name of needlework has led me to put into the serviceable form of an Encyclopedia, all the knowledge and experience, which years of unceasing study and practice have enabled me to accumulate on the subject, with the hope that diligent female workers of all ages, may be able, by its means to instruct themselves in every branch of plain and fancy needlework.

All the patterns given, even the most insignificant, were worked afresh for the purpose, and thus, not merely faithful representations, but also lucid and intelligible explanations of the same, are secured.

In order that my readers may have something besides the dull theory, the work is enlivened by a number of useful patterns, some new, some derived from the artistic productions of such countries and epochs as have become famous by special excellence in the domain of needlework.

Though, at first sight, the reproduction of many of these patterns may seem to present insuperable difficulties, they will, after a careful study of the text, and exact attention to the directions given, prove easy to carry out.

Many of these interesting designs are drawn from private collections, whose owners, with great kindness, placed their treasures at my disposal, to copy and borrow from at discretion, for which I desire to take the present opportunity, of tendering them my warmest thanks.

The choice of colours and material a difficult matter to many my readers will find rendered comparatively easy to them by the notes affixed to the illustrations; and I may point out, that most of the patterns were worked with D.M.C cottons, which enjoy the well earned reputation of being, the very best of their kind, in the market of the world.

Experience has convinced me that, in many instances, these cottons may with advantage take the place of wool, linen thread, and even silk.

If this work meet with indulgent judges, and prove really useful, I shall find ample reward in that fact for the trouble and difficulties that have unavoidably attended its completion.


Plain Sewing.

Many, on opening the Encyclopedia of needlework will be disposed to exclaim as they read the heading of this first section: What is the use of describing all the old well known stitches, when machines have so nearly superseded the slower process of hand sewing? To this our reply is that, of all kinds of needlework, Plain Sewing needs to be most thoroughly learned, as being the foundation of all. Those who are able to employ others to work for them, should at least know how to distinguish good work from bad, and those who are in less fortunate circumstances, have to be taught how to work for themselves.

POSITION OF THE BODY AND HANDS. Before describing different kinds of stitches, a word should be said as to the position of the body and hands when at work. Long experience has convinced me that no kind of needlework necessitates a stooping or cramped attitude. To obviate which, see that your chair and table suit each other in height, and that you so hold your work as hardly to need to bend your head at all. The practice of fastening the work to the knee, besides being ungraceful, is injurious to the health.

NEEDLES. These should be of the best quality. To test a needle, try to break it; if it resist, and then break clean in two, the steel is good; if it bend without breaking, or break without any resistance, it is bad... Continue reading book >>

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