Wednesday, February 01, 2012

Great Hockham Mothers Union banner

A while ago a friend came to me with a plastic bag filled with something in the way of fabric in a very sorry state. She quietly told me that she'd noticed the Mother's Union banner at Church had been very grubby indeed so she washed it. The entire background of silk had rotted away and the embroidery was sadly in need of some tender care. Could I please have a look at it and see what I could do.
I love these kinds of jobs and have absolutely loved every minute of restoring this old and very beautiful thing. I had to use tweezers to pull out the old threads and it was fascinating to see what was underneath.Appliqueing primroses is a therapeutic exercise on a cold and wintry day.

and though replacing the threads around the lettering was a painstaking job, it was worth while in the end.
Luckily the embroidery and applique of the mother and child was still in good condition. It's extremely hard to make faces look good with fabric, it's where the real Art lies in this sort of piece and this one is beautifully done.
The work that no one sees is just as important as without this stitching , the banner would bag and look like a sack. I was able to use the original interlining but it was very thick linen and I ended up with plasters all over my fingers as I stabbed & stabbed again to get the needle in exactly the right spot.
Finally though it's finished. I'm very pleased with it and hopefully it will last another hundred years or so.

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