Opus Anglicanum: Victoria and Albert Style

Home » Opus Anglicanum: Victoria and Albert Style


Opus Anglicanum: Victoria and Albert Style

Opus Anglicanum: Victoria and Albert Style:

“Explore a selection of the most outstanding examples of English Medieval embroidery.

Featuring surviving examples of exquisite craftsmanship, this exhibition will focus on the

the artistic skill of the makers and the world in which they were created.”

Ecclesiastical Embroidery

If you are looking for a great excuse to plan a visit to the United Kingdom, I think I can help, courtesy of the Victoria and Albert Museum.  This October there is a new exhibit opening featuring some stunning examples of Opus Angicanum.  For those not familiar with this term, Opus Angicanum, or English Work, refers to the beautiful style of Ecclesiastical Embroidery worked during Medieval times.

This style of embroidery was worked to a very high standard and was much sought after by Popes and others. It featured beautiful embroidery techniques such as underside couching, and split stitching worked in a circular pattern to embroider faces. The above photo is the Bowden Butler Cope.   This cope has quite an interesting tale to tell of its existence, with some of it happening within the past 50 to 70 years or so.

Medieval Embroidery

Another popular Medieval Embroidery technique was that of working embroidery designs and applying them to a velvet ground as in the above example. In the late 1800s, Mary Barber created a lovely collection of many of these examples of Opus Anglicanum.

Mary Barber Designs, Opus Anglicanum

The cost of the Opus Anglicanum Exhibit at the Victoria and Albert Museum seems quite reasonable at £12.  The only problem is the airfare and hotel………..at least from this side of the ocean.

For those lucky enough to be traveling to or who are in the UK in October, I hope you have a chance to see this wonderful exhibit.

Solo Dei Gloria

Be sure to visit our online store front Ecclesiastical Sewing where you may shop for Liturgical Fabrics, altar linen fabrics, church vestment-making patterns, liturgical machine embroidery designschurch vestment trims and notions and so much more. You may also find us on  Ecclesiastical Sewing on Facebook, Twitter, and Pinterest. Sign up for our mailing list at the bottom of the page on our online store front and receive a free copy of our Small Linens Booklet as our way of saying thank you for following along.

What is a Monastic Style Chasuble?

Traditional Church Vestment Sewing Patterns

The Beauty of the Art of Ecclesiastical Embroidery

Opus Anglicanum Resources

Opus Anglicanum: Medieval Embroidery