Passion & Legacy Thread Packs

McBurney and Black is pleased to announce the launch of 4 Limited Edition packs of vintage linen threads in collaboration with Red Strand Design as part of the Passion & Legacy international design and education project.

Passion & Legacy is Red Strand Design’s first major international design project and celebrates the legacy of the Irish Arts & Crafts Movement (1886 – 1925) and two of the era’s leading needlework women, the Lethbridge sisters. The project is inspired by Dr Lynn Hulse’s research and forthcoming book, The Embroidered Furnishings of the Lethbridge Sisters (Ornamental Embroidery, London, 2015). 

Image of the Musica panel worked by Lady Jane Cory, published in Needlecraft, London 1906.

The sisters are two of the most significant - yet unsung - needlewomen in history. During their lifetime Julia Baroness Carew (1863-1922) and Lady Jane Cory (1865-1947) were famed throughout society for their needlework skills and for the scale of the embroideries they produced for Castleboro in Co. Wexford, the Carews' ancestral home, and for their town house in London. Acclaimed on both sides of the Atlantic, their work featured in exhibitions such as the 1st Australian Exhibition of Women’s Work (Melbourne, 1907) and the Franco-British Exhibition (London, 1908).

Having recently discovered a collection of pure linen Swedish embroidery threads, which had remained untouched since they were spun in the 1960s, McBurney and Black approached Dr Hulse and Red Strand Design to see if an opportunity might exist for these wonderful Linblomman threads to be offered in conjunction with the Passion & Legacy project.

McBurney and Black is delighted to bring you 4 different packs,  Dante, Jacobean, Castleboro and Jacobean 2. Each one contains 6 skeins in colours selected by Dr Hulse and inspired by the work of the Lethbridge sisters. There are just 60 packs of each group available and they will be in the shop from October 1st, 2015.

Jacobean and Jacobean 2 are both inspired by the suite of 29 crewel work panels in the Jacobean style embroidered by Lady Julia Carew between 1899 and 1918. Based on the ‘tree of life’ symbol, the panels were designed by the Royal School of Art Needlework for the Carews’ Irish estate, Castleboro House in Co. Wexford, Ireland, and for the couple’s London home at 28 Belgrave Square. Gifted by Lady Carew to Girton College, Cambridge in 1921-22, the panels are stitched in shades of pink, blue, green, brown and yellow.

Castleboro is inspired by the three-panel room screen designed and embroidered by Lady Jane Cory in 1901 for the drawing room at 28 Belgrave Square, London where she lived with her sister, Lady Julia Carew. ‘Carefully copied from nature’, Lady Cory took as her inspiration irises, pansies and sweet peas in shades of pink and mauve found in the gardens at Castleboro House, the Carews’ ancestral home in Co. Wexford, Ireland.

Dante is inspired by Lady Jane Cory’s embroidered wall hanging based on Henry Holiday’s painting The Meeting of Beatrice and Dante (1883). Completed in 1911 for the hall at 28 Belgrave Square, London, the panel was regarded by Lady Julia Carew as her sister’s finest work. The selection of colours in this thread pack is taken from the complex shading found in Lady Cory’s working of the thirteenth-century brick pavement of the Lugarno in Florence, the setting for Holiday’s painting. The Meeting of Beatrice and Dante is now in the textile collection of the Museum of New Zealand Te Papa Tongarewa.

For more information on the project and events planned do have a look at Red Strand Design’s website.