I can say definitively that they did not worry about the backs. When we
were at Traquair House in Scotland we saw some of Mary Queen of Scots work.
One piece that was probably made by someone else was displayed so that you
could turn it over and see the back. Although the front was beautiful, the
back was a mess! There were even threads crossing over more than an inch;
not very conservative. There are also pieces in the Victoria and Albert
museum also had some that had messy backs. At another castle, there was a
needlepoint fire screen that caught my eye because the angles go the
stitches on both sides of an object were straight. I got my nose up to it
and saw that they just reversed the direction of the tent stitch to make the
Mairghread nighean Eanruig
Someone recently told me that (except for "reversible" blackwork) worrying
about nice tidy "backs" of embroidery is not SCA-period, but was, rather, a
Victorian obsession. Anyone know if this is true or not?
Joan the Harper
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