In the process of creating an exhibit, researchers often become experts in the objects they are presenting. With this type of exhibit, this may mean learning the techniques and methods the artist used to decorate the textiles. Embroidery, weaving and tatting are heavily featured in this exhibit.
During the course of my research of these guest towels featured above, I found that Irene used a technique called “huck embroidery” to create the unique designs that are only seen on the front. The back of the piece is free from knots or stray threads.
This technique was new to me, so I took it upon myself to research how to do it. After reading the few instructions there are, I purchased fabric and embroidery thread to try out this new technique.
Huck embroidery is stitched entirely along the top of the fabric, so stitches are never seen on the back of the piece. This made it ideal for guest towels, as the embroiderer does not have to worry about mistakes showing on the back of the piece.
Designs seem limited, as there are only two types of stitches. Most patterns consisted of straight lines and sharp turns, though loops can be achieved using this technique. It is an easy and relaxing stitch.
It also became very addicting!
After all this hands on research, the idea was put out there to share this technique, as well as others, with an audience who may also not be as familiar with it. It doesn’t necessarily fit in with the overarching storyline of the exhibit, and docents may not always be available to explain the technique in detail to inquisitive minds. An optional, but reliable way to explain the techniques needed to be a part of the exhibit, without intruding to much upon it.
After deliberating over many different options, including having an ipod display a video in the exhibit or to have a live demonstration, the education team decided that a QR code that links the visitor to a page on the website with a video explaining the technique and more material would be the best way to present the huck embroidery demonstration. However, there are plans in the works to have both a live demonstration and video showcasing the art of weaving on a loom similar to the one Dr. Buzzard and Irene used.
Stay tuned as we film and upload this exciting interactive content onto our website!
For more information on Huck Embroidery, please visit these websites: