Sampler, Sarah Blake

Sampler, Sarah Blake

Sampler
Sarah Blake
England
1664
linen embroidered with silk in double running, cross, two sided cross & Montenegran Cross stitch
Museum no. 570-1898

Early samplers were used to teach young girls embroidery. In making the sampler, they learned the various stitches and recorded favourite motifs and patterns. Before the 17th century the patterns and motifs, often drawn from herbals and bestiaries, were sometimes scattered over the sampler at random. In the 17th century, samplers tended to be embroidered in regular horizontal bands, showing stitches of increasing complexity. Alphabets had a practical application: affluent households of the 17th century marked their household linen with embroidered letters. By the 19th and early 20th centuries, samplers were accomplished pieces of work and were often framed and displayed on walls.. This 17th-century linen band sampler is embroidered with silk in double running, cross, two-sided cross and Montenegrin cross stitch.