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Heavenly Embroidery, With 160 Full Colour Pages, by Gillian Grute

SKU GW-9780852447123

A gift of art prints by A.W.N. Pugin to the Sisters of the Poor Child Jesus in Aachen (Aix-La-Chapelle) led to the unexpected rise of the Congregation's embroidery workroom. Founded in 1844 by Clara Fey, who was beatified in 2018, the sisters were devoted to the education and care of disadvantaged children. The vestments worked from the Pugin designs proved so popular that a commercial workroom was soon established in Aachen, with more following at the Congregation's other houses: established almost by accident. the sisters' embroidery workrooms helped to finance their work with the underprivileged. Exiled from Germany under Bismarck's 'Kulturkampf', the Sisters of the Poor Child Jesus then established twelve houses elsewhere. In 1876, ten sisters arrived at the small market town of Southam, in Warwickshire. Not everyone welcomed their presence but many became grateful for their orphanage, children's home, and school. They were later joined by five embroiderers who set up the workroom there which was to attract major commissions for many of the greatest cathedrals, abbeys, and parish churches across the country. 'Heavenly Embroidery' reveals the stories behind these and other smaller commissions, of their patrons and those lucky enough to receive such unique work. The sisters produced their own designs and worked with architects and designers. They made their own patterns and created a palette of fine hair silk for each embroidery. Their depiction of hands and faces is exceptional, and it was said they produced some of the most beautiful embroidered vestments in the world. The workroom was a truly commercial enterprise run by a remarkable group of professionals many of whom we are able to identify. However, the embroiderers often left the workroom, being sent to wherever the need was the greatest at one of the Congregation's schools or children's homes in Oxford, Sheffield, Leeds, London, or Boston Spa - on occasion they were needed to work on the Southam farm and, in World War 1, two volunteered at the local VAD hospital. This book, full of rich colour photographs and illustrations, will prove fascinating to anyone with an interest in embroidery, textiles, church vestments, convent life, or Catholic history, giving rightful recognition to the extraordinary work of the Sisters of the Poor Child Jesus.

Author: Gillian Grute
Format: Paperback
Pages: 160
Published: Oct 2023
Dimensions: 178mm x 254mm.