Sunday, March 25, 2018

A 16th Century Buratto Embroidered Lace: Scholar's Project #4

My Buratto Cupid
The final Scholar's project I presented at Gentle Arts this year is a 16th century embroidered lace in the buratto style.

Buratto is thought to have developed in Italy in the early 16th century. The base for
buratto is a woven net, made upon a particular kind of loom by an experienced weaver, and is then embroidered. Lacis differs only from Buratto in the base, as it uses a netted mesh made with a netting needle one mesh at a time. The embroidery techniques are identical for both styles, and they are usually lumped together in lace history and technique books.

The first published buratto pattern book was written by an Italian named Alessandro Paganino, in 1527. Called simply Burato, it features four quatros (sections) ranging from blank mesh grids in various sizes (which were probably intended for the lacemaker to create her or his own designs) to geometrical patterns to much more complicated patterns for embroidering net. Buratto and filet were generally used for altar cloths, bed-cloths, table linens and wall hangings, and exceedingly rarely do we find it in clothing. Many extant pieces are square in nature and many squares could be joined to produce larger works, or were combined with whitework embroidery, needle lace, bobbin lace and other forms of embroidery.

Paganino's 1527 Burato Cover
When we came back to the SCA (after a hiatus) in 2015, the first event we attended was Seagirt's Summer Tourney which was combined with the Sergeants/Yeoman/Gallant trials that year. There was a contest for Anything Archery: A Picture is Worth 1000 Words that piqued my interest, so I went looking for a representation of archery made for buratto or filet. I knew that classical figures were often seen in period pieces and found a perfect one via Pinterest in the Hermitage Museum in Russia. Unfortunately at that time, the small thumbnail was all that was available, and it wasn't big enough to chart. Eventually I found the pattern that I ended up using, that was in a period style. As time was limited I used interlock canvas, which mimics the buratto mesh. I used a 50/2 linen thread and each square took 8 passes to fill using reprise stitch (one of two main stitches). It's finished with a border of double buttonhole stitches. It took about 40+ hours to complete. I won the contest and it was accepted as a Scholars project. Two more to go!

My Scholar's Projects at Gentle Arts 2018. Photo by Kimberly Grigg.
Download the detailed documentation here:

A Late 16th Century Buratto Embroidered Lace

I am currently practicing more filet embroidery and plan to have some finished pieces by the end of the year.

No comments:

Post a Comment