*UPDATE* Historical Sew Fortnightly: Embellish: Kyoto Half Stays - Embroidery Floss Designs

The inspiration for my embroidered Kyoto half stays was a random, unlabeled, Pinterest Photo of a Flossing Sampler...and I had NO idea who took the photo, or where the sampler was from.  Thanks to Cassidy, I was given a name, and able to track down the source via Facebook.  

Cathy Hay, of Foundations Revealed and Your Wardrobe Unlocked, is the one who took all of those gorgeous Photobucket photos of the Flossing Samplers (official credit for photos: c) Symington Collection, Leicestershire County Council Museums Service. Photographed by Cathy Hay, FoundationsRevealed.com.)  Some more gorgeous corset photos from the same collection can be found HERE on her Flickr stream.   With Cathy's permission, here is what she has to say about the Sampler and the collection of corsets, in general:

"The Symington Collection is one of the best corsetry museum collections in the world, containing corsetry from the 1860s through support garments of the 20th century, right up to the 1990s. It was the collection of R & W H Symington & Co., a corset manufacturer that operated out of Market Harborough in Leicestershire, UK from 1830-1990 or so. They kept examples both of their own work and of their competitors, making it an unrivalled collection - I first came across it when I visited a corset exhibition at FIT in New York only to discover that most of the exhibits had been shipped over from my then home county!

The sampler is an extraordinary object. It's a collection of scraps onto which are sewn all the flossing and embroidery pattern they could do with their embroidery machines - by this date (1880s ish?) they were using cane in the corsets, both to keep prices down and so that the embroidery machines could stitch right through. Later on, these samplers were cobbled together to make one big sampler, which hung on the boardroom wall in the company's later years."


So, it would seem that my choice of flossing design for my Kyoto stays was off by at least 70 years.  Live and learn, right?!  I am still happy with my choice, because I do feel that the design remains classical in shape and color, and also because no one else will see it.  So, I'm not so concerned with historical accuracy in this instance, but I thought it important to clarify and give credit where credit is due.  A huge thank you to Cathy Hays, an extremely kind lady, for taking the time to 'speak' to little ol' me!


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