Turkeywork refers to a type of embroidery work that was popular in the 17th century, particularly for upholstery. This technique involves creating intricate and decorative designs using wool yarn or thread on a canvas or fabric base.
The name Turkeywork originated from the association of this type of embroidery with Turkey, as it was believed to have been introduced to Europe through trade with the Ottoman Empire. However, Turkey itself was not necessarily the place of origin for this technique.
Turkeywork was prevalent during the Renaissance and Baroque eras, and it was commonly used for upholstery purposes. It provided a luxurious and lavish look to furniture, drapes, cushions, and other interior decorations. This embroidery style often featured vibrant colors, floral motifs, and elaborate patterns, making it highly sought after.
Skilled artisans would meticulously stitch the wool threads onto the fabric base using various stitches, such as the long and short stitch or the tent stitch. The result was a raised and textured surface, giving the embroidery a three-dimensional effect.
Although Turkeywork was primarily used for upholstery in the 17th century, it gradually fell out of favor as tastes and styles changed. However, this technique still holds historical significance and can be found in museums, historic houses, and antique collections today as a testament to the opulence and craftsmanship of that era.