Make Your Mark

I love monograms. The history of monogramming is long and fascinating. By the 16th century, people began “marking” their household linens, stockings, handkerchiefs, and lingerie. It was a way to tell what belonged to whom and where it should be stored once the item came back from the laundry. By the 18th century, most young girls learned to stitch a sampler featuring the alphabet and numbers. In Our Own Snug Fireside: Images of the New England Home, 1760–1860, author, curator, and president emerita of the Society for the Preservation of New England Antiquities Jane C. Nylander explains, “Plain sewing and marking were also a standardized part of the curriculum in girls’ schools, where no one could begin an ornamental embroidery project until sh11-24-15 b1e had demonstrated her proficiency with completed shirts and a sampler.”

While most of us don’t hand-stitch initials on our sheets, table cloths, napkins, and stockings in order to “mark” them, applying a monogram to fabric still appeals. I have a prized collection of vintage handkerchiefs with the initial H embroidered on them. After washing, starching, and ironing, they make perfect cocktail napkins.

Of course, monograms were a mainstay for Victorians, so it’s no surprise that they were included in Weldon’s Practical Needlework. The newest PieceWork eBook (Monograms from Weldons) features Weldon’s monogram material for embroidery, appliqué, and cross-stitch, along with knitting. Embroidered Monograms & Initials includes detailed information on how to transfer the designs to the material and a wide variety of examples from a single satin-stitched letter to embellished letters in chain stitch. There’s even an embroidered signature. For knitting, you’ll find complete instructions for capital and “small” letters, figures and “small figures,” and “clox.” About clox, Weldon’s says: “The appearance of socks and stockings can be very much improved by the addition of clox on both sides of the ankle, extending upwards from the foot to a height of from three inches to five inches in the similitude of a spray or feather; the former height is 11-24-15 c1appropriate for a gentleman’s sock, the latter for a lady’s stocking. Clox may be knitted with silk of some bright colour to contrast well against the wool with which the stocking is knitted, or they may be embroidered in satin stitch and other fancy stitches after the stocking is finished.”

With this eBook, you’ll be able to put your “mark” everywhere, and a personalized gift is perfect for the holidays!

Enjoy Monograms from Weldons,

Jeane