During the Middle Ages England had a reputation throughout Europe for the quality and quantity of embroidery produced and the skills of its embroiderers. During the 16th century a new style, probably brought to England by the court of Catharine of Aragon and originating in the Arab world, began to dominate English embroidery. This was blackwork, characterised by scrolling stems, supporting complex structures of leaves, fruit, and flowers and incorporating geometric shapes, birds and animals principally in black and gold thread.
These designs, adorning both the dress and the homes of the nobility, gave expression to a need for opulent display during an era of energy, creativity and optimism.
These designs are the inspiration for Geraldine Rae’s Blackwork Collection of fabrics, wallpapers and accessories, which have been carefully developed for both traditional and contemporary settings. Within the range are bold designs and colourways and also more subtle effects.
Fabrics are linens or silks, with their rich, natural look and texture. Wallpaper is very high quality non-woven paper in extra wide widths. The silks are of Indian origin and linens are Irish or other high quality material and are sourced in England. Fabrics are embroidered or printed by hand and all other products (such as cushions, lamp shades, solid wood lamp tripods and upholstery) are hand made by small artisan companies in England.
Geraldine Rae is a design and quality led company, using the highest quality materials and production methods with an artisan, craft based ethos. A bespoke service is offered and we are able to print and embroider to order Please be aware that this will require longer lead times, minimum order requirements and additional cost.