bullet Needlework - Mourning Embroidery

In the early 1800s, mourning embroidery became popular across the nation, as an expression of overwhelming grief following the death of George Washington. The mourning piece later transcended its original purpose and became a fashionable needlework motif exemplifying refinement and culture. Mourning pieces included the use of India ink, paint or pencil to draw facial features and hands. A professional artist or teacher would be commissioned for the drawing. The black chain stitched border with fancy spangles was popular on mourning pieces made at the Moravian Seminary for Young Ladies in Bethlehem.

mourning embroidery

Diademia Austin Haines, 1817, silk, spangles, paint and ink on silk, Moravian Museum of Bethlehem, a member of Historic Bethlehem Partnership.

Back to Needlework

return home