Stuff Samplers of the Pennsylvania Germans
by Tandy & Charles Hersh
ISBN-10: 0911122583
ISBN-13: 9780911122589
The Pennsylvania German Society
1991
HC w/ Dust Jacket
Pages: 303
Language(s): English
Like New/Very Good - Light cover and edge wear including a few small edge tears; now with protective cover.
$82.00

Pennsylvania German women presided over the production and maintenance of textiles for their homes. Clothing, bed and table linens and towels were produced from fibers they grew and spun into threads. A commercial weaver united these into cloth which was then decorated with cross stitch embroidery. The final step of making many textile objects was cross-stitch embroidery - anything from initials or a number of elaborate needlework designs graced the surface of the fabric, especially in the homes of the "plain people" and their Schwenkfelder neighbors. Tucked into the sewing basket was the set of patterns for this work gathered onto a sampler by adolescent women from relatives' examples or their own imagination. These working cloths frequently bore their owner's name (hence their only known dialect title, Naameduch), a date, the alphabet in one or several variants, and designs. Some are randomly placed, some set in rows, some arranged around a prominent center motif, and some balanced in mirror effect. Sometimes a hymn or scripture verse or another poem is added, including one in which the seamstress boldly compares her work to that of the household's males at work in the fields. Preserved for use or for sentimental reasons, several hundred of these samplers have been studied and photographed for use in this centennial volume of The Pennsylvania German Society, one of the nation's oldest ethnic heritage organizations. Since examples survive which were brought by the first settlers from Europe and from the earliest days of settlement, and since one small group of Amish continue to make and use them today, they are an appropriate communication of Pennsylvania Dutch culture.