For as long as women have been sewing, they've been using embroidery to tell their own stories—often in societies that refuse to hear them otherwise.
Agnes Richter was a German seamstress who was committed to an asylum in the 1890s. She cut and assembled the jacket below from a hospital gown, tailored it and then turned it into an autobiography wrought on fabric.
|Agnes Richter's jacket. Image via Facebook.|
Wedding Dress by Kate Daudy features a poem cascading down the back from the waist, bright against the white fabric. The final few lines spill out to the edge of the hem, reading, "a branch of bleeding roses."
Lorina Bulwer was a needle-worker who was incarcerated in the lunatic ward of Great Yarmouth Workhouse when she was 56. There she made several large-scale samplers that mixed family history with letters, protest, fantasy, and serious accusation. One part reads, "I HAVE WASTED TEN YEARS IN THIS DAMNATION HELL FIRE TRAMP DEN OF OLD WOMEN OLD HAGS".
|"Wedding Dress" by Kate Daudy. Image via Wikipedia.|
|Lorina Bulwer's sampler. Image via Wikipedia.|