Wednesday, October 31, 2012

Embroidery using a hoop

For those who would like to learn to use an embroidery hoop to aid in creating beautiful traditional needlework, Anna Rondelli of Bologna has just released her second publication: Ricamo a Telaio [Embroidery using a hoop].

Translated from her website:
Through the pages of this book, we learn how to hold the hoop in hand. It is the "ABCs" of embroidery that you should know before moving on to more complex techniques. The principal stitches of embroidery executed using a hoop like cording stitch, padded satin stitch, shadow work, buttonhole stitch edgings, Rodi Stitch and many others and their variations are explained step-by-step. Different projects are presented in detail in the third part. The designs of some of the work (on transfer paper and ready to use) are enclosed in a separate envelope. This publication may be useful to experts for consolidating their technical knowledge and for beginners who want to get to know embroidery using a hoop.

Sample of stitch instructions.

This book is also a showcase of Anna's gorgeous traditional embroidery. There are some designs dedicated to the bridal trousseaux in elegant colour choices.

Anna dreams of continuing to publish more and more complex stitches and techniques in the future, so if you enjoy this book, there may be more to come. The text of this book is in Italian.

If you're in Bologna from the 16th to the 18th of November 2012, you can get your hands on this book by attending the fair Il Mondo Creativo in Bologna, otherwise you can contact Anna through her website La Prilletta.

For a review of this book in Italian, see the TuttoRicamo blog.

Tuesday, October 30, 2012

Scuola d'Industrie Italiane - Piecework article

For those who enjoy a good story to go along with your needlework, check out the Nov/Dec 2012 issue of Piecework magazine:

Inside you will find the story of the Scuola d'Industrie Italiane of New York by Ivana Palomba.

Some of you may remember me telling you about Ivana's thesis being published last year on Carolina Amari and her impact on the emancipation of women. This article tells of the school/workshop that Carolina Amari and Florence Colgate started in 1905 in New York for italian immigrant girls as a means to earn a living without having to work in a sweatshop or factory.

While translating this article I have to say that I was fascinated by the lives of the women we tried to research and found it immensely frustrating to be so far from New York and all the archives that are there. If you have an ancestor who was a student of the Scuola d'Industrie Italiane of New York. I would love to hear from you!

Photo by Joe Coca, image copyrighted by Interweave.

As Piecework required a project to accompany the article, there is a Punto Antico needlebook inspired by a card case featured in an advertisement for the Scuola D'Industrie Italiane from The Journal, November 1908.

I hope to have more news early in the new year regarding the Scuola D'Industrie Italiane of New York, so keep an eye out for further developments!

Monday, October 29, 2012

Italia Invita 2013


The 6th International Italia Invita Forum of Textile Creativity has updated their website to include the theme and competitions for the next Italia Invita Forum in Parma, Italy on May 10 - 12th, 2013.

Techniques covered at the next Forum will include: Embroidery, Lace, Quilting, Knitting, Crocheting, Felting, Cross Stitch, Weaving, Straw Plaiting, and just about any other textile art.

The theme will be: Intreccio Internationale which is difficult to translate into two words."Intreccio" is a weave, a plait or braid, a plot (of a story), an intertwining or interweaving - of paths, lives, things. The way they have explained it on the English general info page of their website is as follows:

...the theme is “Intreccio Internazionale” because we will search the path that “the thread” has made, prior to materialize into an art, a technique, a precious artifact. An invitation to retrace the steps through which every single work of each school has reached perfection, thanks to contamination with other techniques.

As usual, there are two competitions open to the public with the entries being displayed during the Forum:

The topics chosen for 2013 are ‘circle’ and ‘internationality’: one as a symbol of unity, of what has no beginning and no end, and the other as the basis of the “growth” due to the exchange between different cultures.

The Squaring the Circle competition is open to individual quilters, groups and associations and the International Circle competition is open to anyone who wants to use any textile method to create a themed piece.

Prizes include a Juki sewing machine, a Juki cutting and sewing machine, Aurifil threads and €1,800.00 in vouchers to spend at the Italia Invita Forum in the vendors section.

I was waiting until they had made the rules available in English on their website to tell you about this but I have learned that the rules will not be made available in any other language than Italian. This seemed strange to me for an international competition and event. I received this response to my query from Fiere di Parma, the company that hosts the event:

The rules are only in Italian because the competition is reserved only for Italian citizens due to issues with the Government.
Unfortunately, the law does not allow Italy to organize international competitions and so we were forced to deal with this limitation.

There will be workshops and classes that you can register for and attend and I am told that a list of these will be available in the next couple of weeks.

A list of exhibitors and vendors will become available after the new year.  So check back to the Italia Invita website often for updates.

In other posts I have told you about previous editions of Italia Invita Forums:

Italia Invita - Part One - 2003
Italia Invita - Part Four - 2009
Italia Invita - Part Five - 2011

Truly, if you get the chance to go, make the effort. No where else can you get so many Italian needlework schools, teachers, techniques and supplies at a single event.

Monday, October 22, 2012

Ricamo Italiano - Digital Magazine

I used to subscribe to one of the Italian needlework magazines called Ricamo Italiano which started up in the fall of 2004. The subscription for overseas was about double the European price but at the time I could afford it and anyway, I usually figure on paying about double the cover price for any publication from Italy because the shipping is so much.

In 2010 they decided to raise the overseas price for a subscription so much that I had to give them up.

Silvia from Turin emailed me to say that she had discovered that they now have a digital edition which you can purchase and download instantly.

I decided to purchase an issue and take you along with me for the ride. Before we get started, let me say that I'm not recommending/soliciting this magazine and I don't earn anything by this post. This is just an adventure in Italian Needlework.

I took screenshots along the way and then added some arrows in with Photoshop. My monitor is a 27 inch iMac so I'm sorry, there is a lot of white space but I didn't want to cut anything off that might help you if you were going to try this.

Now, I didn't find anything indicating that this was even available on the Ricamo Italiano website, but there might be something there that I just didn't see, or they may have updated it since this post if you're reading this sometime in the future.

Click on the photos for a closer look.

Arriving at the EZPRess website, which thanks to Silvia, we know exists, use the pull down menu at the top for English or which ever language you like, it uses Google Translate which does an okay job for what we need here.

On the left is a "search by category" heading with directly below it another pull down menu. For reasons probably to do with translation, the list does not appear in English alphabetical order, so you'll find "embroidery" under "boys". Don't ask, just select "embroidery" and let's move on. ;-)

There are only two choices for "embroidery" and they are both Ricamo Italiano, so you can take your pick between September 2012 (issue 95) or October 2012 (issue 96) or you can sign up for a subscription. I chose issue 96 and clicked on "acquista ora" - the buttons don't translate.

When you click the button a little pop up menu tells you that what you've selected has been added to your cart and you have the option to continue shopping or going on to the cart and paying which is the option I chose.

Now you must click on "cash", you'll notice my "x" shows that you must pay the value added tax or VAT. Many international websites are set up so that the program knows if you're overseas and that you are not required to pay the VAT. This is not one of them. I also understand that in Italy there is a difference in business license, if you anticipate mainly Italian clients, you choose one license, if you anticipate international clients, you choose the other (more expensive) license. These people are anticipating Italian clients and I'm not going to argue over €0,50 which is like, $0.65USD.

Now we must register with EZPress. Click accordingly and you will land at the page which gives you some advice about google.mail clients. I forgot to take a screenshot of this page until after I'd finished, so you may notice in the next photo that my cart is empty on the left. Yours however should still have your magazine in it.

Click "register" and we go on to the cart where you have your choice of payment methods. I chose PayPal and then "check out" at the bottom.

Now, I wasn't quick enough to get the next screenshot but a big green check mark flashed on the screen and some text telling me that I'd entered my order correctly and that I was now being re-routed to PayPal's website, which I was.

After completing my PayPal payment, I chose to return to the EZPress website and landed at this page. I clicked where I indicate with the red arrow, but if you chose a subscription you must click where I've put the 'x".

This brings you to your order summary and you must remember to download both the magazine and the "foglione" which has some patterns on it. It looks like you can do this 100 times each.

What they don't tell you is that the magazine file is 74.1MB so that takes a few minutes to load. The 'foglione' is only 135 KB (for issue 96). The magazine is 86 pages.

If you choose the subscription, you get the same price that Italians get for a printed subscription and you'll get "12 months". Just a word to the wise, this magazine does not always print issues in consecutive months so "12 months" usually takes you into the following year. This can be confusing but at least this way, you'll know it didn't get lost in the mail!

Monday, October 15, 2012

Punto Maglie

Photo copyright Associazione Punto Maglie.

The town of Maglie is located in the Apulia region of south-east Italy. The heel of the boot if your Italian geography is a little vague.

Punto Maglie or Maglie Embroidery is a type of needle lace which takes its origins from Burano, the famous lace-making island in the Venetian Lagoon.

Photo copyright Associazione Punto Maglie.

Characteristics particular to Punto Maglie are the human figures (pupo or pupa, masculine or feminine) often found among the geometric motifs, the most important of which are the star motifs.

Inserts are built upon a support of fabric with the pattern attached on top and are then cut away from the support and inserted into fabrics. Whole pieces can be constructed in this manner or by withdrawing some threads of the ground fabric and building on top of it in a similar method to traditional Reticello.

In 1905, as an experiment, evening embroidery and lace classes were added to the curriculum of an Applied Arts school instigated by Egidio Lanoce, advocate and pioneer of technical schools for the working classes. It was here that Punto Maglie was born.

Photo copyright Associazione Punto Maglie.

Around the same time a local noblewoman, Lady Carolina De Viti De Marco in Starace started a group of embroiderers, some who had trained at the Applied Arts school, to produce embroidered items to sell in order to supplement their household incomes. Lady Carolina and her descendants would go on to become very important to the textile arts of the area, but let's leave that for another post.

Photo copyright Associazione Punto Maglie.

Embroideries and laces from Maglie were exported to America and other European countries and participated and were recognized in the various International Fairs of the period.

Magie enjoyed much success with these endeavours until the years of the First World War.

Today the tradition of Punto Maglie is continued by the embroidery school Associazione Punto Maglie located at no. 60 via Luigi Puzzovio in Maglie. You can contact them by email at: punto maglie @ virgilio . it (remove all the spaces between the characters).

Many thanks to Liliana for the photos!

Tuesday, October 2, 2012

Gigliuccio Hemstitch - Embroidery Canada

A note to let Canadian readers know that in the fall 2012 issue of the Embroiderer's Association of Canada (EAC)'s magazine Embroidery Canada, the last photo of my article on the Gigliuccio Hemstitch is missing.

Sandra the editor tells me that there will be a note in the next issue but in the meantime, here it is below for your reference (click on the image for a closer look):