Fabric and recreations

The lovely Kimiko commented on the first post that she has seen the Eleonora gown done twice before, and photographed once at Costume College.  If anyone has pictures of the outfit I would love to see them!  She also had seen similar fabric in the garment district several years ago in LA.

While at Costume College in 2009 I took a class from Cilean on Renaissance fabrics and I believe she had a piece of this fabric.  It was heavier in weight and had similar properties, but was not identical.  It was, however, the closest I have seen out there. 

I also found a portrait on Lis Kester’s site that looks suspiciously similar to the Eleonora fabric:

It is a portrait of Isabel of Austria, painted in 1573.  In looking for more info on this portrait I found Anea’s excellent commentary on the fabric on her site.  She has many pictures of variations of this pattern and great research on various theories about the use of “arabesque” patterned fabrics.

All of this information reinforces to me the fact that punch needlework is likely to give me the closest approximation of texture and will make the design as close as possible to the pattern in the portraits.

2 thoughts on “Fabric and recreations

  1. saharazara says:

    This just occurred to me, so please feel free to tell me I am crazy. But what about burning out the pattern in the silver velvet, adding a resist to the ground and dyeing the fabric black to get the pattern to show up? Then doing the needlework in gold over that? Is that just a completely nuts idea? It might be that the dye has to be applied by hand, but it’s a thought. Maybe? 🙂


    • Laura says:

      That is a good idea, but I have zero experience at doing either A)dyeing with resist and B)burning out a pattern. I do know how to embroider, though. And from what I have read the design of the fabric is all various lengths of boucle like loops, so I think punch needlework will work best for me, with no risk of burning the wrong parts or dyeing it wrong. DangerKitty suggested I use some of this flocking stuff they sell at Joann Fabrics which also looked cool, but again made me squeamish after spending so much money on 10 yards of fabric…

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