Heraldic Embroidery


Heraldic embroidery has existed as long as heraldry has been used as a form of personal identification. Heraldic motifs can be worked in just about any stitching technique used in the pre-1600 period.

Materials Used

  • wool thread on linen ground using couching work.
  • silk thread on linen or silk ground tent stitch, brick stitch, split stitch
  • Gold Work on linen, silk or other grounds

Extant Pieces

  • To search for V and A pieces use this website - http://images.vam.ac.uk/ and type in holding number (eg T.120-1932)
    • Cushion Cover (c.1540) - V and A - T.120-1932 - silk thread in tent stitch on linen
    • Calthorpe Purse (c. 1540) - V and A - T.246-1927 - silk thread in tent stitch on linen
    • Tent Stitch Slip (1590-1600) - V and A - T.46-1972 - silk thread in tent stitch on linen
    • Pillow Cover (1592) - V and A - T.262-1968 - silk thread in tent stitch on linen with silver gilt thread
  • Heraldic Embroidery In National Museum of Denmark
  • The Malterer Hanging - wool on linen, contains the arms of the Malterer Family.
  • Mamluk Heraldic Badge - Egypt, North Africa, Mamluk period, late 14th century linen, silk embroidery, slanted counted filling stitch, stem stitch Ashmolean Museum, inv.no.1984.86
  • Purse (woven, not embroidered but cool!) 1200-1400
  • Purse (woven) 13th C
  • Chasuble David de Bourgogne (15th C)
  • Heraldic Tabard (16th C)
  • Banner (15th C)
  • Burse (16th C)