Saturday, August 30, 2008

Ephemera Dedicated to Ornamental Embroidery Stitches 1884-85

Ephemera Dedicated to Ornamental Embroidery Stitches 1884-85

By the early 1880’s Art Needlework and Fancy Work companies issued catalogs selling all sorts of designs for embroidery and fancy work – Mrs. Farnham, Patten Publishing Co., J.F. Ingalls, T.E. Parker and Chas. E. Bentley’s.
Many of these companies specializing in perforated stamping patterns began selling packages of waste fabrics of satin, silks and plushes, along with flosses to ladies enamored by the craze. Some of the kits had pre-stamped designs for working in out-line or Kensington-stitch embroidery. Sometimes they even included pre-embroidered floral sprays on satin. Flowers, birds, spider webs, Kate Greenaway figures, oriental fans and owls were some of the most popular motifs.
Right around our country’s centennial, ladies magazines published numerous articles on the latest needlework fad – Japanese or Crazy Patchwork.

By 1884, several of these companies published booklets dedicated to stitch designs and layout patterns for blocks: J.F. Ingalls, T.E. Parker and Chas. E, Bentley’s to name a few. Some merchandizing companies took advantage of the craze and published stitch booklets as advertisements for their stores: R.L. Spencer and Strawbridge & Clothier.

In the image are several of the booklets and a trade card, all date to 1884-85. These probably represent some of the first publications dedicated to ornamental embroidery stitches.

Image description
Clockwise starting from the upper right:
Crazy Patchwork, published by Strawbridge & Clothier (cover and transfer design); Patchwork Stitches, published by the R.L. Spencer Co.; Ornamentals Stitches by T.E. Parker (cover and two sample pages); Fancy Designs for Ornamenting Oriental Work by Mrs. M. Haehnlen; Instructions for Patchwork by J.F. Ingalls; and the front and back of a Singer Sewing Machine trade card.
[Note the images are not to scale.]

It is interesting to note that the T.E. Parker, J.F. Ingalls and the R.F. Spencer booklets share several of the same engravings. The Ingalls and Parker catalogs for perforated stamping patterns are also very similar, just as the Farnham and Bentley’s catalogs are much the same.

Also, the images in the Strawbridge and Clothier are also used by Weldon’s in their Guides to Practical Needlework. I suspect that the Bentley’s booklet, Crazy Stitches for Patchwork Quilts is similar to the Strawbridge one as it is described as have six 10-inch blocks with instructions. The Strawbridge booklet has six blocks also. [This is just a guess, since I do not have the Bentley booklet or an image of it.]

Ephemera Descriptions

A book of Fancy Designs for Ornamenting Oriental Work (1884)
Designed and Published by Mrs. M. Haehnlen, Chicago, Ill.
Price 25 cents
24 pages (plus covers)

Crazy Patchwork (1884)
Published by Strawbridge & Clothier, Philadelphia
Price 25 cents
10 pages (plus covers)

Ornamental Stitches for Embroidery (1885)
Presented by T.E. Parker, Lynn, Mass.
Price 10 cents
14 pages (plus covers – tan in color)
Dimensions: Approx. 4.25 x 4.5-inches

Instructions for Patchwork (1884)
J.F. Ingalls, Lynn, Mass.
Price 15 cents
32 pages (plus covers – grey in color)
Dimensions: 4 x 6-inches

Patchwork Stitches and Ladies’ Fancy Work Guide (undated)
Published by The R.L. Spencer Co., Hartford, Conn.
Price 15 cents
16 pages (plus covers)
Dimensions 1: 4.25 x 6.25-inches (orange-brown cover, light green pages)
Dimensions 2: 5.5 x 8-inches (tan cover, light green pages)

100 Crazy Patchwork Stitches (1884)
Singer Manufacturing Co. Trade Card
Dimensions: Approx 7 x 4.5-inches


gocrazywithme said...

Hi Louise,
I was recently given a J. F. Ingalls booklet, but mine has a green cover. Was wondering if you have any other info regarding this item.
Janet Popish

Louise said...

Janet, what is the title of the booklet, and how many pages does it have. what size? Ingalls had lots of little booklets in 1882-1886 time frame on various subjects: Patchwork, Art Embroidery, Fancywork, Colors of Flowers, Brush Studies, etc. Many of them had ads in them telling about their magaazine, catalogues, threads, and such - whatever they were offering at the time. Let me know what yours is about. Thanks, Louise

gocrazywithme said...

The front cover says:
Instructions for Patchwork
Price, 15 Cents
Copyrighted, 1884, by
J.F. Ingalls, Publisher

There are 16 leaves (pages) in it, no ads. It is about 4"x6". I posted photos of it on my blog: . You'll have to scroll back a couple of posts to find them.
Thanks for getting back to me!

Louise said...

Janet, that is the same one I have pictured. Congrats on the great gift you have! Cheers, Louise

gocrazywithme said...

Thanks, Louise! I appreciate you time.