While doing research for christening gowns, I ran across some photos of an antique Ayrshire christening gown. I fell in love with this beauty and have decided to try and reproduce an Ayrshire gown. Ayrshire Embroidery is hard to find, I could not find a source for any Ayrshire linens to use for the dress, so I will have to embroider my own by machine. I searched for “whitework” patterns in order to find something similar to Ayrshire.
Ayrshire embroidery, also known as sewed muslin, was worked in white cotton thread on white cotton muslin, usually in floral designs with trailing foliage, occasionally incorporating peacocks or other birds. It is characterised by cut-out spaces filled with needlepoint lace stitches, often in circular wheel patterns, surrounded by satin stitch with stem, beading and other stitches. It is most often found on baby robes, caps and bibs, women’s collars, cuffs and caps.
Close up detail of embroidery
Books and Articles
Bryson, Agnes, Ayrshire Needlework (London: Batsford, 1989)
Swain, Margaret, Ayrshire and Other Whitework (Shire Library) (Princes Risborough: Shire Publications, 1986
Swain, Margaret, The flowerers;: The origins and history of Ayrshire needlework (London & Edinburgh: W & R Chambers,1955)