WGBH Openvault

Erica; Turkey Work

Part of From the Vault. Part of Erica Wilson: The Julia Child of Needlework.

11/23/1971

Turkey work is a form of knotted embroidery that was popular in England during the 17th century. It was meant to be imitative of the pile and designs of Turkish carpets. Erica suggests using a thick wool thread and a very large needle. Turkey work is begun with a series of backstitches, leaving loops packed tightly together. The loops are then cut for a shaggy, tufted effect, or occasionally left intact, as with an embroidery of peonies that she did. Turkey work can be used today to add texture and three-dimensionality to flora and fauna in embroidery, such as bumblebees or the centers of flowers. The project for this episode is an embroidered bumblebee with a turkey work body. Erica cautions to use straight stitches—not turkey work—for faces, and shows a turkey work Owl and the Pussycat embroidery that she did, but with satin stitch eyes. She also shows a Victorian turkey work cockatoo from the Smithsonian collection. Summary and select metadata for this record was submitted by Amanda Sikarskie.


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Series
Erica
Program
Turkey Work
Program Number

107

Series Description

Needlework series with Erica Wilson. “Erica Wilson, noted American authority on needlework, invites the viewer to explore the exciting possibilities of indulging his creative and artistic talents. In this series of color videotaped 15 minute programs she illustrates the wide vocabulary of stitches used in many types of embroidery including traditional crewel, needlepoint, bargello, and crewel point.

As well as demonstrating these stitches, Erica gives professional hints on creating useful and decorative objects. She encourages personalizing an original or derived design through the selection of motif, materials, stitch, color, texture, and size. C. 1971-2 Series release date: 1971

Program Description

Turkey work is a form of knotted embroidery that was popular in England during the 17th century. It was meant to be imitative of the pile and designs of Turkish carpets.

Erica suggests using a thick wool thread and a very large needle. Turkey work is begun with a series of backstitches, leaving loops packed tightly together. The loops are then cut for a shaggy, tufted effect, or occasionally left intact, as with an embroidery of peonies that she did.

Turkey work can be used today to add texture and three-dimensionality to flora and fauna in embroidery, such as bumblebees or the centers of flowers. The project for this episode is an embroidered bumblebee with a turkey work body. Erica cautions to use straight stitches—not turkey work—for faces, and shows a turkey work Owl and the Pussycat embroidery that she did, but with satin stitch eyes.

She also shows a Victorian turkey work cockatoo from the Smithsonian collection.

Duration

00:14:29

Asset Type

Broadcast program

Media Type

Video

Subjects
Owls – Decorative Arts
Insects – Decorative Arts
Wilson, Erica
England – Decorative Arts
Embroidery
Needlework – Instruction
Three-Dimensional Art
The Owl and the Pussycat
Flowers – Decorative Arts
Turkey – Decorative Arts
Genres
Instructional
Topics
Crafts
Creators
MacLeod, Margaret I. (Series Producer)
Contributors
Wilson, Erica (Host)
MacLeod, Margaret I. (Producer)
Field, James (Director)
Mahard, Frances (Other (see note))
Publication Information
Copyright © 1971 Erica Wilson and WGBH Educational Foundation
Citation
Chicago: “Erica; Turkey Work,” 11/23/1971, WGBH Media Library & Archives, accessed December 10, 2016, http://openvault.wgbh.org/catalog/V_A227869353A843E5A638205B8F25839F.
MLA: “Erica; Turkey Work.” 11/23/1971. WGBH Media Library & Archives. Web. December 10, 2016. <http://openvault.wgbh.org/catalog/V_A227869353A843E5A638205B8F25839F>.
APA: Erica; Turkey Work. Boston, MA: WGBH Media Library & Archives. Retrieved from http://openvault.wgbh.org/catalog/V_A227869353A843E5A638205B8F25839F
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