Worked in length, the marquoirs are made of aligned horizontal bands which represent each a different type of stitch. These works were not meant to be shown and they were conserved in a roll and conserved for a whole life. The most antique Band Sampler seems to be that by Jane Bodstocke in 1589. After that, the embroidered works become more and more decorative and pictorial and full of cross stitches and other stitches. Most of the works have fringes, a central and principal motif and some motifs all around. The representations are most of all linked to nature: birds, woods, animals, stylized flowers and some architectural elements like houses, windmills, pagodas ect. A lot of samplers also have verses and biblical motifs like Adam and Eve, angels and lambs.
Author: Isabelle Mazabraud-Kerlan (Reflets de Soie)