What is flame stitch?

This is not the 1970s.  We have forgiven ourselves for accusing someone at Parham House having hung a whole lot of horrific late-20th century fabric on the walls in what is otherwise a wonderful interior, of which more on another day.

No, this is a genuine 17th century hanging (circa 1620), even if it does look like it should be in a room set for a late 1970s room set.

I’d never encountered it before (consciously or on such a scale) – I suspect the Georgians did away with much of it.

The hangings above are late 16th century, the earliest known example of flame stitch in England.

The design’s origins are almost certainly Italian, where it is known as “bargello”, and there may be an Hungarian influence in there, from whence the design first came to Italy.

Do you like it?

For a modern take on the inclusion of the design, see a Fox report here.

At chez Wire the jury has definitely returned a verdict of “throw it out”.  I can just about do Missoni or Pucci, but not hues of brown and orange, blue and red on my walls and bed.

2 thoughts on “What is flame stitch?

  1. Come on….this is a well known form of lovely needlework that has been a classic forever. It gives a wonderful geometric touch to any style interior. Normally, one sees this used as an accent on a pillow or chair. This example is very large and unusual one.

  2. I agree it appears slightly outre. I had no idea it had such a long history, thinking it was Art Deco, (one of my least favourite design eras.) How strange to see a Japanese (or Chinese) Buddha in the same scheme; all very confusing!

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