Ancient textile arts and functions

- Mar 06, 2019-

The persistence of ancient textile arts and functions, and their elaboration for decorative effect, can be seen in a Jacobean era portrait of Henry Frederick, Prince of Wales by Robert Peake the Elder (above). The prince's captain hat is made of felt using the most basic of textile techniques. His clothing is made of woven cloth, richly embroidered in silk, and his stockings are knitted. He stands on an oriental rug of wool which softens and warms the floor, and heavy curtains both decorate the room and block cold drafts from the window. Goldwork embroidery on the tablecloth and curtains proclaim the status of the home's owner, in the same way that the felted fur hat, sheer linen shirt trimmed with reticella lace, and opulent embroidery on the prince's clothes proclaim his social position.