Origin and date: Scottish, late 18th Century
Linen count and finished size: 30-count, 12-1/4″x20-3/4″
Stitches: Cross, double running, eyelet, rice, and three different patterns of Florentine (bargello) embroidery
Source: The Scarlet Letter
This strikingly unusual sampler has been in the collection of The Scarlet Letter since 1984, and has been featured in several publications since then. The sampler has been reproduced exactly, supplied with materials as similar to the original as possible, which include hand vegetable-dyed spun lambs wool, sewing yarns, and an eggshell-colored linen ground. Some seventeenth, eighteenth, and nineteenth century samplers were stitched with these fine lambs wool yarns rather than silk flosses, and many have not survived the ensuing moth attacks. To find a piece done with wool so perfectly preserved is extremely rare. If you have never stitched with this elegant lambs wool, imported from Wales, you are in for a wonderful tactile experience. The soft vegetable-dyed hues and the silky, buttery texture of the yarns make this a memorable sampler. Scottish samplers often exhibit a bold use of strong primary colors. The illuminated alphabets and numerous initials scattered about the sampler, are other revealing regional characteristics.