Embroidery Inspiration – Violet and Violets

It’s springtime, the lilacs and pansies are in full bloom, and the only thing I’m missing is a patch of delicate wild violets. They’re one of my favorite springtime flowers, and sadly, I have none in my current yard. Obviously, I need to fix that!

In the meantime, let’s take a look at all manner of items featuring all members of the viola family, as well as the color violet.

I have to start with this absolutely stunning open gown from the DAR. The purple silk is striking, and the floral embroidery is one of the relatively rare examples of 18th c. polychrome embroidery on a woman’s gown.
late 18th c violet silk embroidered gown

We get a double dose of violets with this men’s court suit. Not only is it made from a beautiful purple velvet, the waistcoat and coat both feature embroidered pansies. The Met. 18th c court suit embroidered with pansies and roses on violet velvet

Delicate pansies and other flowers are worked in tambour embroidery on this sheer muslin panel.  There are some beautiful close ups of the embroidery work on the Maria Niforos page. While this section looks like it could be an apron, it’s an exact match to a longer panel at the Cooper-Hewitt18th c embroidered muslin panel with pansies and other flowers

This waistcoat features sweet blue and purple violets along the front edge, along with a variety of other colorful flowers. Manchester Art Gallery. 18th c. men's waistcoat embroidered with violets and roses

This Regency reticule is a lovely shade of violet, with a different design on each side. The subtle cream silk and gold spangles create a striking design. LACMA.

Another beautiful violet-hued gown of sheer muslin with tambour embroidery. The fabric was most likely embroidered in Glasgow, rather than India. Glasgow Story. 

These exquisite French pumps are a vivid blue-violet achieved with the new aniline dyes of the Victorian era. They are further adorned with embroidery, goldwork, fringe, and fancy braid. The Met. Aniline purple shoes with embroidery

This 18th c. silk satin bergère hat showcases a delightful assortment of ribbon and polychrome silk flowers. The multi-colored pansies at the front are especially sweet. MFA18th c bergere hat with embroidered flowers and ribbonwork

And last but not least, this fancy table mat from the 1950s, with pansies of all colors – including a quite unusual red! Cooper-Hewitt.Embroidered table mat with a variety of colored pansies

I have even more examples of monogrammed items to share this week on Facebook! I’ve also pinned all these and more over on Pinterest.

What do you think about violets? What item would you want to use them on? Let me know in the comments.

Did you miss last week’s Embroidery Inspiration? Check out my overview of 18th century embroidery here.




*Some of the links above are affiliate links, meaning, at no additional cost to you, I will earn a commission if you choose to make a purchase. These are marked with an * after the product name. I only recommend products or services I use personally and believe will add value to my readers, and I do not recommend products solely to get a commission.


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