With Schwalm crowns the Schwalm country women “crowned” their splendid Whitework. Usually the name of the owner, and sometimes the year, was also embroidered on the linen.
Crowns are about palm-size, and often the overall shape is that of a half circle containing variants of tree-of-life or triple-shoot designs. They are usually densely ornamented. The many different designs are of extraordinary creativity and show a strong sense of aesthetics. There are crowns with “heavy” as well as filigree elements; some crowns are worked with a single design element only, and others contain all the typical Schwalm crown motifs.
The beautiful crown embroidery can, indeed, be seen in the museums of the Schwalm, but up to now there has been no published collection of design drawings. I believe the enormous treasure bequeathed to us is too valuable to let slide into obscurity. Not only are crowns too interesting and too attractive, but they also have the right to exist today alongside the Schwalm Whitework that is enjoying a resurgence. Thus, if one invests many, many hours stitching the Whitework, is it not right that that work should be “crowned”? At very least, the initials of the embroiderer, as well as the year, are worth noting. Furthermore, it is my opinion that including the approximate time spent embroidering is also important.
Therefore, I have hired a professional designer to reproduce, using today’s technology, line designs of historical crown embroidery. This was not always an easy task. Some crowns, due to age and long use, were in fragments; for others I had only a shadowy outline left on the linen to go by. Nevertheless, in the end my efforts were successful!
Based on these line drawings I have reworked almost all the crowns on handwoven linen. I have photographed the finished crowns and prepared them for publication together with the line drawn designs. I would not deprive you of the historical variations of particularly popular crowns, and so many of the embroidered crowns will have several line drawings. Unfortunately, this vast amount of material would not fit into one book and so this new endeavor has become two books!
The first volume
answers and discusses on 13 pages
- What are crowns?
- Which colours do crowns have?
- Where to place crowns?
- How to get the design onto the fabric?
- How to embroider crowns?
- How to work baskets?
- How to embroider birds?
- How to arrange Cross stitch patterns below crowns?
- What are double crowns
there are 8 pages of charted Cross stitch ornaments and Cross stitch letters and numbers, which were worked in connection with crowns;
and there are 70 pages containing 96 different embroidered crowns – some small, many medium and some corner crowns – in all 184 design variations.
The second volume
“Grand Schwalm Crowns”
presents the most grand, the most beautiful and the most elaborate embroideries – 66 in all – and their 100 design variants.
Beautiful as usual Luzine and a big thank you for your hours of research and sharing it with us. X
I did not know these “crowns” existed. They are a wonderful part of a beautiful embroidery. xx
These are beautiful designs. Are they always worked with gold colored thread?
In the beginning the crowns in the Schwalm were stitched with black thread. Black not only signified mourning, but also pride!
At the time the threads were not colourfast, and so they faded to a warm golden tone after launderings. And so it came about, when colourfast threads became available, that people use a golden tone thread to stitch their crowns. So the predominate crown colours on historical Schwalm Whitework are shades of gold and brown.
I have recieved my copy of “Schwalm Crowns”. The book contains so many beautiful images and information. I can see these motifs being created into Christmas ornaments and filling a tree with them. Really the designs could be used for so many things, my mind is spinning with ideas. I especially like the cross stitch motifs at the end of the book, what a unique way of dating and signing our needlework. Thank you for continuing to share your knowledge and love of Schwalm Whitework with us.
I´m part of a group of volunteers that is starting up a new scheme in our neighbourhood in Tucson. One of the community projects that we are about to initiate relatates to your blog, and therefor some of the information here is of value for us and I just wanted so say thank you for that.
Hello dear Luzine!
Finally I had time to write a post about these two beautiful books. I’ve made a translation for my Portuguese and Brazilian readers and a link to this post for English readers.
Your books are so beautiful and with so detailed directions! I’m so sorry not having the time and health enough to do everything I want to… I so appreciate all your research and the tenacity you put in your work. Congratulations! Again 🙂
Die Bücher mit den Kronen sind hervorragend. Ich habe schon einige Kronen gestickt.