Darning Sampler

There’s something about working with cloth, it’s thread count and how the cloth is woven that fascinates me. This was the starting point for my latest project Darning Sampler.

The piece started with a vintage child’s garment that’s been in my collection for a number of years and an idea that’s been swirling around my head for even longer.

Darning Sampler - hand stitched red thread into a vintage white child's garment
Work in progress

Next followed extensive research into vintage and antique darning samplers. Given the very fine cloth and the weave of the cotton, only a select number of stitches were chosen. Some patterns were also adapted for this project.

I experimented and sampled with different weights of thread and settled on a very fine thread called Madeira Cotona.

Darning Sampler - hand stitched red thread into a vintage white child's garment
Work in progress
Darning Sampler - hand stitched red thread into a vintage white child's garment
Darning Sampler complete

The piece took nearly two months to create. Hand darned. Size 28 x 28cm.

Darning Sampler - hand stitched red thread into a vintage white child's garment
Darning Sampler – detail

Completed with a tiny vintage Mother of Pearl button on the neck of the garment.

This piece is part of the Embroiderers’ Guild ‘ Layers’ Members Challenge.

You can find one of my previous Members’ Challenge artworks in this post.

Update July 2023:

I’m thrilled that Darning sampler has won a First Award in ‘The Artistic Director’s Category’ in the Members’ Challenge 2023. For more details please follow this link.

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