How Medieval Embroidery Works
Recreating a Middle Ages craft.
Medieval embroidery is incredibly detailed. In this video from the Victoria and Albert Museum in London, we watch first-hand as contemporary embroiderer Rosie Taylor-Davies recreates the amazing Middle Ages craft.
First, she transfers the design from paper to cloth using charcoal—a technique called pouncing. Eventually, she adds gold thread by weaving it in with the regular thread. It's incredibly satisfying to watch her perfectly guide the thread in an out of the tiny holes in the cloth, and especially mesmerizing when she outlines the figure in black thread. Both men and women practiced the craft in the Middle Ages. See authentic examples of medieval embroidery in Opus Anglicanum: Masterpieces of English Medieval Embroidery, at the V&A through February 5.
Madeline Raynor is a Slate freelance video blogger.