Embroidery in the Archive of Art & Design

Rose design (pricked) for footstool, Morris

Pricked rose design for footstool, by Morris & Co. Art Workers Ltd, late 19th-early 20th century. Museum No. AAD/1990/6

The V&A's Archive of Art and Design holds the working papers of individual designers, as well as the records of companies and associations involved in all aspects of applied art and design. The archives can be consulted by appointment at Blythe House, located near Olympia in West London.

The embroidery holdings range from the embroidery designs and pricked patterns of Morris & Co. Art Workers Ltd to the embroidery designs of Francis Johnston, a needlework pattern designer; the photographs of haute couture garments from the House of Worth, many of which are adorned with embroidered motifs, to the printed embroidery patterns and booklets in the Ramah Juda and the Ephemera collections. 

For more details please consult the Guide to the Archive of Art and Design, Victoria & Albert Museum by Elizabeth Lomas (London: Fitzroy Dearborn Publishers in association with the Victoria and Albert Museum, 2001), which not only lists the AAD archives, but also identifies related material in the V&A Museum and other institutions. Most of the archives are also listed on the National Art Library catalogue.

  • Morris & Co. Art Workers Ltd, embroidery patterns, c.1890-c.1939. AAD/1990/6
  • Francis Johnston, needlework pattern designer, papers, c.1904 - c.1962. AAD/2001/1
  • House of Worth Ltd, couture house: photo albums c.1889-c1914. A microform copy of the photograph albums is also available in the National Art Library (Pressmark F.92.0008). AAD/1982/1
  • Ramah Judah, embroiderer and knitter: collection, 1918-c.1949. AAD/1990/3
  • Thematic ephemera: patterns for crochet, embroidery, knitwear and sewing, 1885-c.1979. AAD Ephemera

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Embroidery Designs for Fashion and Furnishings (Paperback)

Embroidery Designs for Fashion and Furnishings (Paperback)

This beautiful book illustrates the highlights of the fine collection of designs for embroidery at the Victoria and Albert Museum. Focusing on designs…

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Interactive Map

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Event - Behind the Cupboard Door at the Royal School of Needlework - Tour 1

Wed 15 July 2015 14:00–16:30

This special visit, led by the chief executive who is also the curator and archivist, will open the doors to this fascinating archive and conclude with a tour of the 2015 exhibition of whitework from the Royal School of Needlework collection.

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