Counted Satin Stitch Bag

Counted Satin Stitch Bag
During the 14th and 15th centuries, counted satin stitch embroidery was commonly done in Germany. As a way of experimenting with it I made this bag to use for storing candles.

The Pattern:
Rather than use one of the patterns taken directly from a surviving bag, I chose a more elaborate one in a similar style that appeared in several 16th century pattern books: Zoppino's Esemplario of 1530 (Mitch, p. 16); Tagliente's Esemplario of 1531 (Mitch, p. 50); Hofer's Formbuech'len of 1545 (p. 36); and Bassée's New Modelbuch of 1568 (p. 57). Although this pattern and others like it are so similar to the counted satin stitch pieces described in Mitchell, they are based on stitch lengths of 1, 3, and 5 threads rather than 2, 4, and 6, making it seem likely that they were intended for some other technique(s). One possibility is pattern-darning, which according to Gudjónsson does typically use stitch lengths of 1, 3 and 5.

The Embroidery:
I used cotton floss on 25-count natural linen. I chose the colors based on what I had and liked, rather than a period color combination which would probably have had more contrast. When I made it up into the bag, I lined it with a linen/cotton blend fabric. It is finished with a braided drawstring, handmade tassels, and a chain stitch edging worked in two colors threaded on one needle, using the same floss as used for the embroidery. Each drawstring was made from four strands of floss passed through the embroidery and the lining, then working the ends into an 8-strand braid, which was subdivided into two 4-strand braids, and finished with four 8-strand braids. This is based on the descriptions in Mitchell, pp. 28-30, 39-42, except for the edging which he describes as being split stitch, but looks in his drawing much like my chain stitch.


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