Ackworth Sampler

Good Evening,

I've been a weaver for over 30 years (yikes!). I spent quite some time today in an upscale antique shop looking at a signed and dated "sampler" done by a young student at the Ackworth Quaker school in England in the 1700s. I would SWEAR it was handwoven with silk and linen on a linen ground, although the dealer was certain it was a sampler of "darning stitches." It appeared to me to be silk inlaid in three different strips of pattern (all twills) with three changes of treadling, separated by equal-width areas of plain weave. I've never seen anything like it but found it absolutely fascinating; anybody have a clue?


Cindy in NH


Posted on Sat, 09/18/2010 - 11:23

Here are two links to examples of Ackworth "Darning Samplers." They include the familiar cross-stitch "medallion" samplers as well as the ones that appear to include weaving. Two of them are subtle and hard to see but they resemble white-on-white inlay in geometric blocks.

On further research, these may be examples of "pattern darning," where the students would use a needle to add supplementary warp in silk or wool on an open-weave, plain weave fabric in fine linen, then also needle-weave in a supplementary weft in a twill design where the two intersected...hard to explain (!). Interesting, though...

Cindy in lovely fall-ish NH