Applique is a technique that combines normal sewing with embroidery. It has been used throughout history to create various household decorations such as hangings or bed clothes and also for clothing. In the pre-modern period, quilting was also used as a technique. There are few (if any) examples of quilting and another technique, such as applique or patchwork being used in the same item

Materials Used

  • silk threads to create slips that are applied to often luxuorious ground fabrics such as velvets and silks
  • leather
  • linen ground and thread
  • wool

Stitches and Techniques

  • back stitch

Extant Pieces

  • Guicciardini Quilt (Tristan Quilt)
  • Pianetti Quilt
  • Ufferti Quilt


Sources for Further Study

  • Arthur, Liz. "Embroidery 1600-1700 at the Burrell Collection". (London: John Murray Ltd, 1995)
  • Cavallo, Adolph S. "Textiles: Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum". (Boston: Trustees, 1986)
  • Clabburn, Pamela. "Masterpieces of Embroidery". (Oxford: Phaidon Press Limited, 1981)
  • Ellis, Marianne. "Embroideries and Samplers from Islamic Egypt". (Oxford: Ashmolean Museum, 2001)
  • Gwinner, Schnuppe von. "The History of the Patchwork Quilt". (West Chester: Schiffer Publishing, Ltd, 1988)
  • King, Donald and Levey, Santina. "The Victoria & Albert Museum's Textile Collection: Embroidery in Britain from 1200 to 1750". (New York: Canopy Books, 1993)
  • Levey, Santina. "Elizabethan Treasures: The Hardwick Hall Textiles". (New York: Harry N. Abrams, Inc., 1998)
  • Schuette, Marie and Mueller-Christensen, Sigrid. "A Pictorial History of Embroidery". (New York: Praeger, 1964)
  • Staniland, Kay. "Medieval Craftsmen: Embroiderers".(London: British Museum Press and University of Toronto Press, 1991)
  • Swain, Margaret H. "Historical Needlework: A Study of Influences in Scotland and Northern England". (New York: Charles Scribner's Sons, 1970)