Saturday, January 5, 2008

Broderie Perse

Broderie Perse
Broderie Perse is a method of applying a fabric, originally the colorful Chintz type fabrics of Europe, onto a background by hand sewing. This was done in order to randomly decorate it or establish a pictorial scene upon the background.

The efforts were turned into coverlets or quilts and became most popular in the 17th Century and possibly earlier in some cases with Indian Broderie Perse findings. The Chintz fabrics were used due to the firm outlines of the figures woven into the fabric, the images were not usually blended into the next image, there was clear space around where the picture could be cut out, as if it were in a coloring book with a line around the outside.

Thus when cut just outside the lines of those images, say a flower or bird, the artist would then take the cut-out motif and apply it onto the background fabric of the project with tiny stitches matching as close to the same color as possible. This technique made the end product look like the picture was printed on it. This can be seen as an early method of fabric puzzle piecing. The placement of the cut-out motifs onto the quilt or coverlet background was usually made into a breathtaking setting which one would definitely classify as an heirloom.

Broderie Perse was for show and these bedcoverings were often left unlined to be used for summer guests. Whether they were layered and quilted or not they were saved for special occasions.

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