Fragments of decoratively stitched fabric dating as far back as 3000 BC have been discovered in tombs all over the world. Embroidery is known to have existed before painting, and stitchery may be one of manís earliest accomplishments.
It is likely that the art of needlepoint originated in China, and the handiwork has also been discovered in a cave of a Pharaoh. Embroidery made its way to England via the Phoenicians.
As Christianity spread through Europe, so did the use and diversity of embroidery. The wives of the Crusaders and Nobility used embroidery and needlepoint to alleviate boredom while their husbands were away. Wall hangings and other coverings were made to insulate castle walls, keep warmth in the bedchamber, and decorate cushions and vestments for the Clergy. Styles of handiwork moved around the world via Royalty. For instance, it is believed that Catherine of Aragon, the Spanish wife of Henry VIII, introduced the black work style of stitchery to England.
As factory and machine made embroidery became available, needle arts went from an industry of highly skilled craftsmen, to being a pastime. Over more recent decades needlepoint in particular has not been limited to canvas mesh and other textile bases. The invention of plastic eventually led to the manufacture of plastic canvas, which simplified needlepoint for children and beginners. Small sized bases can be used for making pins and brooches and other small objects. Another product more recently considered as a base for needlepoint is filigree stampings. With its symmetry and range of sizes and shapes, filigree is an interesting alternative for those who want to mix stitchery with jewelry making. Brooches, pendants, and even earrings can be made with needlepoint, adding new dimension, textures for the needlepoint artist, and a multitude of color choices for the jewelry maker.
Guyot Bros. manufactures scores of filigree items that can be used as needlepoint canvases including brooches, buttons or even Christmas tree ornaments. For more information on Guyot filigree feel free to contact us.
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