pattern book

Monogram guides


The numbers, letters, and monograms taught and illustrated in manuals and pattern books were used by a wide variety of craftsmen, including engravers, wood carvers, painters, and embroiderers—as seen in samplers and in other forms of domestic embroidery. A twentieth-century example shows an intermediate step between hand and machine embroidery: felt embroidery forms of the alphabet, such as those distributed through Crowley’s Department store in Detroit, were used as a raised guide, to be covered with embroidered stitches for the embellishment of household linens.
embroidery, felt, pattern book

A Greek Embroidered Band


In 1953, Cooper-Hewitt received from Richard C. Greenleaf (1887–1961) a gift of twelve pieces of embroidery and lace. One piece was an unusual band made in the Greek Islands in the eighteenth century. Embroidered using long-armed cross stitch in red silk on cream-colored linen, a portion of the design was copied from a much older pattern by the Italian designer Giovanni Andrea Vavassore (1510–1572). His book of embroidery designs, Esemplario di lavori or "Models of works" was published in 1532.
band, Greece, Vavassore, embroidery, pattern book

Inside wonders: A Japanese pattern book


Patterns found in nature have influenced human creativity for millennia and continue to inspire designers today. Can you guess what natural forms were used to create the designs in this pattern book? Published in Kyoto by Unsōdō in 1913, its bold calligraphic lines, sweeping curves, and organic forms share characteristics with both Japan’s Rinpa and Europe’s Art Nouveau movements.  However, these shapes were derived in a new and unique way by a scientist, not a designer.
pattern book, Japan, shells