At the CraftFair in Zwolle, I coundn't resit to buy the just published book by Berthi Smith-Sanders on "Samplers and Darning Samplers" made by girls during the 18th and 19th Century in the Amsterdam Civic Orphanage. In 1996 she was able to buy 10 samplers from which 9 came from the same family named Sikking. Next to that there were notes and stories transferred from mother to daughter. From that moment the research did start, and with more historical information coming from the Amsterdam City Archives a really interesting book was written.
I had never met Berthi in real, but did follow her blog for a long time and I even did send her a card from the Shetlands which she used in her TextielPost item on her blog.
In real she is even better...funny and witty!!
The design of the book is beautiful. One of the things I like is the use of the color Red.
Bound together with Red Thread..
Words in Red Cross-Stitch..
The color Red is common used to mark clothing and household linen to identify the garments when they were spread out to dry on the bleaching grounds. Alphabets, numbers and symbols were embroidered on those textiles.
One can say the Book is Beautiful detailed.
The Amterdam Civic Orphanage is one of the olderst orphanages in the Netherlands. Founded round 1520 by Haasje Claes Dogter, the institute was privately funded.
At this moment the building is used to show the "History from Amsterdam" and is called:
"Amsterdam Museum". It looks almost the same. In the summer the courtyard is used as a terrace from the nearby restaurant.
Orphanage..my first thought was a horrible institute with strict rules were living was not easy at all.
But after reading the book I came to the conclusion that is was in a way the opposite of my thinking. There are moving stories in the book about the care the orphans got, and the possibilities to learn to make a living after they left.
They were able to learn all kinds of textile crafts to be used in work they found after leaving the Orphanage.
In the book is an interesting chapter on the garments the orphans had to wear. Red, white and black in an a-symmetrical dress (reminded me a bit of dresses fashion designers Victor & Rolf made a few years ago) Those colors could refer to the colors of the Amsterdam Coat of Arms. One can't be totally sure of that, but it seems logical.
It reminds me slightly of the school-uniforms still worn in England from which you can see what school is visited.
The main part of the book tells the stories on Samplers..
This one dates from 1799 and is one of the oldest made in the Orphanage.
Beautiful embroidered by Johanna Sikking at the age of 15.
How many girls nowadays would have the patience to do this?
One can read the name Elisabet Sikking, who was the sister of Johanna.
Also can be seen crowns, hearts, flowers and at the bottom the date..
The pattern from this sampler is added to the book.
I like samplers, but I am more found of Darning Samplers.
The book tells that a Darning Sampler is a rectangular or square piece of cloth with holes that are mended by weaving threads back and forth across the holes.
Imagine...You get a piece of linen..
Holes are cut out...and you have to mend them and it must look beautiful..
It shows so much talent and skill from this young girl..
Berthi has written a really interesting book on this special subject.
Really pleased I bought a copy
How nice was it to get last Saturday a photo on which a lovely girl is knitting a sock on 4 needles just like her Grandma did.(Thanks Jos!!)