I am a sucker for lovely handwork- lace making, drawn work, shadow work, delicate embroidery, and if it is on a handkerchief, even better. (If words like "drawn work" are foreign and you didn't think people actually made lace, please read on!) This weekend, I stumbled upon a collection of lovely handkerchief- 32 to be exact. Obviously the previous owner like lovely handwork as much as I do.
Though I appreciate the effort, skill level, and delicacy of the pieces, I do not always know what to call the style of the work. Today's stash was an education. The handwork word of the day is Appenzell.
Appenzell handwork comes from the region at the base of the Alps in Switzerland. The pieces you see most often is handkerchiefs from the 18th and 19th centuries.
The hallmarks of the pieces are Swiss batiste linen base fabric with linen threads used in the drawn work. Typically there is drawn work around the parameter as well as drawn work patterns on the inside. Also you will find satin stitch embroidery and shadow work with a small piece, like a handkerchief, will have the fancy work on every corner. These handkerchiefs were designed to be used by a bride with the more elaborate pieces are tablecloths and napkins.