I am in the second year of a BA (Hons) in Embroidered Textiles with the Opus School of Textile Arts. This semester I am working on a very interesting module where I look at embroidery in its social context. I find out what was going on when a specific type or style of embroidery was being done.
These passed two weeks I have been studying Dutch paintings from the seventeenth century to understand the world leading linen industry in the country at the time. Artist Jacob van Ruisdael is famous for his Dutch landscapes. What I have found most interesting about his work, apart from his magnificent skies, is how many of his paintings show flax/linen in various stages of production. One can see grassy fields covered in hundreds of meters of linen cloth going through the bleaching process.