According to history, a certain Wittich, an engraving merchant from Berlin who, in 1805, was the first person to propose cross-stitch pattern charts which were painted with watercolour. His success was immediate and the method was quickly imitated in many European countries.
In France, Monsieur Sajou was one of the pioneers of cross-stitch pattern charts and coloured pattern charts for tapestry. First with the watercolour models and later by printing the famous little Sajou albums, for which he won numerous prizes during the universal exhibitions.
In days gone by, samplers were not only a way to learn different embroidery techniques, but also lessons in reading and arithmetic. Books were less available in the 19th century than today and embroidery books were a luxury. In my haberdashery and embroidery collection , I have a lot of models which are not necessarily Sajou models. Among them are some beautiful classic vintage samplers. The models we propose date from between 1870 and 1900.
Marie Suarez: no need to introduce this famous self-taught Belgian woman. Her path has taken her from traditional embroidery for the Belgian royal family, through the restoration of vintage laces, to the study and research of ancient techniques. What defines Marie Suarez is her inventiveness, the quality of her work and her great sense of communication with embroiderers.
These pattern charts are inspired by watercolour models, once known as “Berlin motifs”. A certain Wittich, an engraving merchant in Berlin, had the idea in 1805 to propose watercolour pattern charts. His publications were an immediate success and were exported all over the world. Monsieur Sajou picked up on this idea in the 1830s and the embroidery pattern charts could be found in many of his different publications. These pattern charts have repetitive floral motifs and can be adapted to the length required. These motifs were most often used as decorative bands on chairs and stools, accompanied by smooth velvet.
These geometric motifs are inspired by vintage patterns used for what was known as filet lace or embroidered netting. A mesh netting is first made and then embroidered with simple stitches. The netting background being formed of small squares, it is easy to adapt the motifs for cross stitch.