Wednesday, 23 May 2018

Commonwealth flowers in lace

I was intrigued to see that Megan Markle’s lovely wedding veil was edged with the floral emblems of the 53 Commonwealth countries. For my recent Battle of Britain panel I also use the floral emblems of some Commonwealth countries to represent the allied airforces involved in the battle (some are shown in the image above). My task was easier than that of the royal embroiderers as I only had a few to find, however, I do understand the process they must have gone through as trying to embroider plants you’ve never seen is not easy. I had to look on the internet for images of wattle (for Australia) and silver fern (for New Zealand), which is probably what the royal embroiderers had to do, and I guess that Harry Cross, the designer of the original Battle of Britain panel in the 1940s would have had to use an encylopaedia. Our styles of lace are also different, Harry Cross’s design was produced on a lace machine, while mine is handmade needlerun lace on net. I haven’t seen good close ups of the royal lace yet, but some of it seems to be applied to the net rather than worked into it – it may be a mixture of the two. Some of the images I’ve seen suggest that the flowers were embroidered on organza which was then cut out and appliqued on to the veil. It is certainly stunning and I hope to see some more images soon.

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