Sarah Ann Downend circa 1835
Samplers stitched with fine wool yarns (as opposed to silk) appear as early as the sixteenth century. More readily available, and much cheaper than silk, wool yarns were easy to spin at home, and accepted dyes readily. Although not anywhere near as durable as silk yarns were, and often victim to the voracious and pervasive moth, some rare samplers stitched with vegetable-dyed wools have survived remarkably well, as has this fine English example, undated, but probably made around 1835. Fine wool embroidery yarns, with cotton threads for embellishments, are supplied with this kit, as well as 30-count evenweave linen to most closely approximate the size of the original sampler.