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Subject: Embroidery pattern ink

Embroidery pattern ink

From: Jenny Barnett <andelos>
Date: Monday, March 24, 2003
I am investigating five embroideries from the van Gogh Museum in
Amsterdam. They are designed by the French artist Emille Bernard and
executed between 1898 and 1903 by his mistress (surprise,
surprise!). Bernard worked some months in 1889-90 as designer for
the textile manufacturer Beaumier in Lille, that seems to have woven
tapestries. Between 1993 and 1904 he lived and worked in Egypt. The
embroideries are large (75 x 50cm to 177 x 97cm), framed with glass
and worked in wool on jute, cotton embroidery canvas and linen in
horizontal bands of long, vertical stitches.

Most of the embroideries have been enlarged in size by adding strips
of cotton and linen fabric to the sides. On one example, the cotton
strips are printed with three different designs. Two are broderie
anglais edging patterns. When first examined a year ago these
patterns were blue (as far as I can remember) now they are brown.
The third print is blue and depicts the middle part of a laurel
wreath encircling the words,


    Bonheur des Dames


Apparently this has something to do with a French department store.
The fabric could be packaging.

My questions are as follows:

    1.  What is the composition of this kind of ink, "encre a
        dicalquer pour broderie", used on stamps and rollers (tampon
        and roulette a reproduire) to print the design to be
        embroidered and which is easily removed from the fabric
        afterwards by washing. Information about the product from
        other countries would also be useful as it may well have the
        same composition.

    2.  Has anyone else observed the colour change from blue to
        brown with this kind of ink?

    3.  Can anyone tell me more about this department store: the
        name, location of headquarters, period of operation.

    4.  Does anyone have information about Beaumier and the designs
        Bernard made there.

Possible references for any of these questions would be greatly

In addition to fully describing and identifying all elements of each
embroidery, various other aspects will be investigated, for example:

    *   a white deposit on the inside of the glass
    *   the ink of the design drawn onto the embroidery canvases
    *   photographic images made under infra-red and UV light
    *   inventarisation and description of all embroidery yarns
    *   dye analysis

The investigation and research results will be published in various
articles. All contributions received through this query will be
fully acknowledged. With thanks,

Jenny Barnett
Textile researcher and consultant
Oude Looiersstraat 65-67
1016 VH Amsterdam
+31 20 427 18 27 (phone/fax)

                  Conservation DistList Instance 16:54
                 Distributed: Thursday, March 27, 2003
                       Message Id: cdl-16-54-016
Received on Monday, 24 March, 2003

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