These often striking, beautiful works of art were not only confined to the Ottoman Empire, but they were in daily use in other areas too. Exquisite robes, kaftans and belts were worn by the people of the Court and soft furnishings adorned the halls of the palaces, but these amazing textiles were not only present in exalted society. They could be found everywhere, even in the humblest dwelling.
Inspired by her visits to Turkey and all that she experienced there, Joyce Ross decided to research and study historic embroideries from that country. She soon became fascinated by the wonderful range of stitches, images and designs in the embroideries she found. Restricting her search to Turkish Ottoman embroidery, she realised that the textiles reflected the changing lifestyle of the Ottomans as other cultures influenced them. They were nomadic people who adapted many symbols from the countries with whom they came into contact. The earliest embroideries on cloth were made to emulate Italian brocades and the designs were all derived from plant forms, but they also incorporated shapes like the Buddhist 'flaming pearl' and Persian paisley designs.
This book looks at the techniques of Ottoman embroidery, the fabrics, threads and colours that were used, the stitches and the designs. A Dictionary of Stitches describes a whole range of stitches from Bukhara self couching to needleweaving and Turkish punch stitch. Projects offer inspiring ideas for samplers, cards, coasters, bookmarks and more. A wonderful section on borders and motifs includes attractive border patterns used in 18th and 19th century Ottoman embroideries and motifs adapted from the pieces Joyce has studied.
Joyce has written and brought together a great book packed with information, and has written it for all those 'for whom the love of beauty knows no boundaries'. It will encourage embroiderers and textile artists everywhere to look at the historical treasures we have around us, and inspire them to create their own original works of art. 64 Illustrations, color