Laton Jacket Projectcomments (12) April 4th, 2008
Word had it that Threads magazine's very own Norma Bucko was working on a fantastic hand embroidery project that is going on at the Plimoth Plantation in Plymouth, Massachusetts. They are re-creating the Laton Jacket, a gorgeous garment from the 17th century. I visited the Plimoth website, a treasure trove of information and inspiration for hand embroiderers. As a new blogger, I really enjoyed checking out their blog, The Embroiderers' Story, which is written by Jill Hall, who also manages the Wardrobe Department at the Plantation. Over the next year, the blog will chronicle the progress of this 17th-century jacket, so take a look from time to time. If you click on the little pictures in the blog, you can see enlarged versions that show the incredible detail of the work and the skill of the women working on this jacket.
The original Laton Jacket, the inspiration for this project, can be seen at the Victoria and Albert Museum in England. If you’re not planning a road trip to England any time soon, you can just click here to see it too! I spent a lot of time browsing through the museum’s Web site, checking out fashion from the 17th, 18th, 19th and 20th centuries. Whenever I look at some of the embroidery created back then, I’m always amazed at the complex detail, color, and workmanship created entirely by hand.
A lot goes into re-creating a jacket like this. Before any hand embroidery can take place, there is a search for threads, fabrics and other embellishments that approximate the original jacket.
I always love to see fashion come alive with embroidery, and I noticed on The Embroiders’ Stories blog that this project is special to Jill Hall as well. To quote her, “One of their goals has been realized—stitching in front of the public in the Crafts Center. The inherent fashionable aspects of this jacket has made it popular with younger women who have had the chance to visit the Craft Center. It is very gratifying to work on a project that generates interest in not only embroidery, but also history and culture.”
Be sure to keep track of the progress of this fascinating project. I plan to visit often.