Thursday, April 11, 2013

The Bayeux Tapestry, Hand Stitched and Half Scale

This gentleman has much more patience than I!  I sew my self quite a bit to make copies of historical clothing, but I can't imagine 18 years of needle point on one project.  My hat is off to Mr. Wilkinson!
History fanatic spends 18 YEARS hand stitching his own
40ft long version of the Bayeux Tapestry

by Alex Ward, MailOnline

A determined history buff spent more than 10,000 hours over 18 years hand sewing a tapestry longer than a tennis court.
Andy Wilkinson, 51, had no sewing or drawing experience when he started the 40ft long version of the Bayeux Tapestry, a 1,000-year-old embroidery of events leading up to the Norman conquest of England.

A London Underground engineer from Chatham, Kent, he intended to make the tapestry to decorate the inside of a Norman-style tent but it quickly outgrew the space when he kept on sewing until he finished the Battle of Hastings section of the historical tapestry.

Mr Wilkinson has now been given the chance to display his 2:1 scale version at Battle Abbey in East Sussex, the site of the 1066 battle.
A member of a historical re-enactment group, he said: ‘I work a lot of night shifts and used to come home and find myself with not a lot to do for a few hours.
‘I had seen a copied section of the tapestry at a medieval fair and thought that if they can do that so can I.
‘Having never done a tapestry before, I came home and found a picture and just started to draw and sew. I had no formal training in sewing or drawing.
'I just drew the outlines of figures and animals like the horses onto a piece of calico material and then just stitched it.
‘I have a Norman-style tent and when the tapestry was under 5ft I used it in that as a screen but that was a long time ago.’
The original Bayeux Tapestry is 230ft long, is in eight separate pieces of linen and is exhibited in the Normandy town of Bayeux. The Battle of Hastings section is 80ft long.
His sewing sessions lasted from one to eight hours and he believes he has spent an average of two hours a day for 14 years on the project.
The history buff used about 30 different shades of four-ply wool and keeps the tapestry wound up like a scroll on two wooden batons.
On average, there are about 150 stitches per square inch on his tapestry.
Mr Wilkinson said: ‘I haven't been able to get it insured. I have no idea what it might be worth but given the man hours I have put in, that alone works out to about £125,000.
‘Now I've conquered this one I am not going to do another one.’
This story is re-blogged from UK MailOnline.  Read more and see more photos and video here:

No comments:

Post a Comment