Meisterinne Katheryn asked me in the middle of the week to enter the A&S competition with my apron, which I had out at the time to show off, and I agreed. My documentation was not exhaustive or very long, so I quote it here:
I had no expectations, so when they called my name in court as the winner of the competition it was a complete surprise. But there you go, embroidery can be a winning concept. :)
ITEM: Embroidery, 16th Century on an apron. PLACE: Italy.
The embroidey on this apron is done in madder dyed silk thread on linen. The pattern is taken from the facsimile of a 1561 pattern book by Giovanni Ostavus(*) and the stitch is long-armed cross stitch(**) which was commonly used in the period(#).
This kind of counted embroidery was commonly applied to aprons, shift, smocks and shirts. Black and red were the most common colours, being very effectful against white linen. Queen Elizabeth's Wardrobe Unlockd lists an apron with "carnacion in graine silke"(##) - being a red colour. In Moda a Firenze a photo fo a detail of a painting by Alessandro Allori shows an apron with embroidery done in black(¤).
* La vera perfezione del disegno di Giovanni Ostavus, 1561. Available on-line at the University of Arizona.
**, # Embroideries at Hardwick Hall, a catalogue. Levey, Santina M.
(Stitch diagram drawing here).
## Queen Elizabeth's Wardrobe Unlockd. Arnold, Janed. Page 225.
¤ Moda a Firenze. Orsina Landini, Roberta & Niccoli, Bruna. Page 130.