Mexican Embroidery

From: the Dictionary of Needlework: An Encyclopedia of Artistic, Plain, and fancy Needlework, 1887, by SFA Caulfeild and Blanche C. Saward.
Edited for use on this.

Mexican Embroidery is suitable for ornamenting washing materials, such as linens, muslins, and cambrics. It is worked with ingrain silks or cottons, or Pyrenean wools, is easily and quickly executed, and will stand a good deal of rough usage. During the Victorian era it is used for children’s dresses and underclothing, corners to doilies, and borders for towels and tablecloths.

Mexican Embroidery

Click on image for larger view.

To work as shown the above figure:

Trace the outline upon a cambric material with a very faint line, and place under all the parts to be embroidered a lining cut out of the same material, which simply Tack down. Then outline the design with a line of Buttonhole Stitches, and work in the lining with every stitch. Use bright colored silks or Pyrenean wool for the Buttonhole. Work Point de Croix to fill up the outline design, and fill in the center of the pattern with a thick, close round of Buttonhole. Finish the design by working over the two bottom rows. These are intended for tucks, and are made by folding the material, and tacking the lining between the folds.

The stitch ornamenting the tucks need not be traced. To make:

Work a line of loops, at even distances along the top of the tuck, and then a line along the bottom, taking care that the stitches in each line are between, and not opposite, each other. Then take a fresh thread, and with it draw the two lines together down the center, and the stitch will be complete. Finish the work by cutting away the lining round the outline of the flower.

Mexican embroidery with raised outline

Mexican embroidery with raised outline
Click on image for larger view.

The figure above represents Mexican Embroidery with a Raised instead of a Buttonhole outline, used for small figures, grotesque animals, and geometrical designs.

To work:

Trace the outline upon a thick material, such as well-woven linen or German canvas, which will not require lining, the cover it with a colored cord. Overcast this cord down to the material with colored cotton of the same tint, and, to finish, fill in the centers of the design with a number of Run lines. Work the border enclosing the pattern with a line of Chain Stitch.


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