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A Textile Collector Opens Her Doors

November 20, 2015


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In early Nov. a group of us visited Ann Darling. This visit to Ann was part of our artist tour program.  Ann is a textile collector and has treasures from all over the world. Before we arrived she brought out armloads of colorful textiles and displayed them around her home for us to see.  She could recount where every piece came from and who sold it to her. Her storytelling was entertaining, informative and sometimes humorous.  Not only that, her documentation of the textiles was incredible with binders of notes. books, photos and information to back up the collection.   Beautiful embroideries showing off thousands of hours of stitching revealed cultural heritage of the countries that Ann visited. Age old designs of birds, people, flowers, animals, fruit and vegetables peered out at us from all over the house. After lunch Ann took us downstairs to her own studio where she designs and creates unique garments. sometimes incorporating hand woven textiles  purchased during her travels. Thank you Ann for welcoming us to your home and studio and being so generous with your time and passion.  It was so inspiring.  P.S. Please remind us of the technique used on the turquoise and red embroidered piece from China. You had an open book describing it but alas, I can’t recall it now. Gail

4 Comments leave one →
  1. Paula permalink
    November 20, 2015 7:30 am

    I had the opportunity to see many of Ann’s textiles several years ago. Amazing! The best part is the joy she has for both her collection of textiles and the art fashions she creates.

  2. Ann Darling permalink
    November 20, 2015 10:54 pm

    Gail the technique is simply called pleat embroidery. First a flat braid of several strands of silk floss (up to 10 strands) is woven or braided, then folded and “scrunched” up with tiny stitches to make the shapes desired. From a book ” Pleat embroidery ….. is done by curling the braids evenly in short folds and sewing them on the designs from outside to center, so that the patterns stand out in relief against the ground.” It was a pleasure to have you here.

    • December 9, 2015 4:17 pm

      Thanks Ann for the explanation of pleat embroidery. For those of you who don’t know which embroidery we are talking about, it is the one that is turquoise and red and looks like French knots divided by grids.. Gail

  3. November 21, 2015 4:35 am

    Thanks for that explanation of the technique. It looks just like an embroidery stitch but as you say
    it is done by couching braids to a surface, Do you mind giving us the name of that book? Gail

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