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Create Tambour Work Embroidery

tambour lace

Tambour work was a popular form of “quick” embroidery used on gowns, lace shawls and scarves and other projects, particularly during the mid 1700’s to mid 1800’s, when automated machines took over the work of skilled seamstresses and the delicate patterns produced fell from fashion. To begin,  one worked a basic chain stitch on the top of the fabric, using a specially made tambour needle.

Tambour needle from The Encyclopedia of Needlework.
Tambour needle from The Encyclopedia of Needlework.

 

The patterns created varied from simple white on white borders and patterns, like this lace scarf:

Detail of antique Tamboured lace.
Detail of antique Tamboured lace.

…to complex collages of color and texture as displayed on this gown:

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