12th century projects,  12th century Saint Michael and the Dragon,  Embroidery,  Materials,  Medieval Art,  Medieval Embroidery,  Museum,  Museums - Germany,  Projects,  Split Stitch,  Wool-Silk Thread

12th century embroidery – Saint Michael and the Dragon


At the moment I am working at the next posting for the current Craft with Racaire project – the “fast & easy pouch tutorial“. I will post it soon but it’s not finished yet… 😀

Therefore I decided to tell you more about my newest project and to show you some sneak peeks of it – of my new:

12th century embroidery project
“Saint Michael and the Dragon”

During my Mission “Medieval Berlin” I saw a beautiful embroidered wallhanging from the 12th century on display in one of the museums. This period wallhanging inspired me to try a “new” medieval embroidery technique.

But first things first – here are the first photos of my new medieval embroidery project – enjoy! 😀


Above you can see the progress after the first day working at the new project and underneath the progress after the second day… 🙂


Trying out a “new” technique is always something very special for me. I like the “thrill”, I like to figure out things, to see how my stitches develop and look better and better the more I practice… I love it to work at my stitches and the used techniques until they look perfect. Stitch by stitch – this is not a fast technique but I really like the look of it and the possibilities I am starting to explore now…

Though my 12th century technique inspiration is worked in silk, I decided to use the lovely Malabrigo wool-silk thread I have for this embroidery project until I feel secure enough to do this stitch with 100% silk thread.

And now detailed information for you about my period inspiration and the “new” 12th century embroidery technique I use for this project:

My inspiration to try out a “new” period embroidery technique:


I was inspired by the lovely embroidery on display at the Bode museum in Berlin which you can see at the picture above. A beautiful “fragment” of a Wallhanging from Germany (Niedersachsen) from about 1160/70. According to the museum this wallhanging is a silk embroidery on linen. The used techniques for this wallhanging are Split Stitch & Stem Stitch.

I think I spent at least a half hour looking at it and taking photos. Unfortunately the light conditions were very dark but armed with a new DSLR camera and a macro lens I tried my best to get some really good photos and I am glad to say that I got some really good detail photos. 😀

You can look forward to an in-depth posting about this wallhanging fragment as soon as I finish my second Craft with Racaire project. Then I will put together a detailed posting with many pictures and the information I have for you…

Anyway, I think I can already point you to the museum catalogue about this special exhibition at the Bode museum where this tapestry is on display at the moment:

“Schätze des Glaubens”
This museum catalogue is available at:
Amazon.com: Schätze des Glaubens
Amazon.de: Schätze des Glaubens

This is just an “information in advance”. 😉
I will add this catalogue to my collections of “interesting catalogues” section – which can be found in my book section, accessible from the top menu – as soon as I post about the “Schätze des Glaubens” exhibition…

…and now to the used embroidery technique – the above shown embroidery inspired me to try a technique I haven’t used before:

Der Spaltstich / The Split Stitch

If you haven’t heard of the Split Stitch before – Jane Stockton has put together a great tutorial about “Five Period Embroidery Stitches” and the Split Stitch is one of them. Her tutorial also contains nice close up photos of a split stitch embroidery from the 14th century and it is definitely worth to be downloaded and read if you haven’t already. 🙂
Btw. I added this link to the helpful links at my page “Medieval Embroidery Pages” – you can find this page in the header menu underneath the menu point “Premium”

…taking a look at the inspiration for the embroidery you might have already noticed that the wallhanging is not the inspiration for my embroidery design for my new embroidery project. Therefore lets get to the next point:

My inspiration for the embroidery design:

There is a lovely 12th century tapestry detail which is already hunting me for some time now. I saw it in some of my books and even on the cover of one of my books – Saint George and the Dragon… but stoppppppp… *lol*

Well, I admit it, thats at least what I thought until I started looking for a picture of my inspiration at the internet to share it with you. But I have a good excuse, I am awfully when it comes to names, dates, faces… *lol* …and now I know for sure and therefore I would like to introduce you to my lovely design inspiration: Saint Michael and the dragon.

The information provided about this tapestry by the blog A Polar Bear’s Tale, where I found the picture of the 12th century textile: “St. Michael, detail from Abraham and the Archangel Michael, Lower Saxony, mid-12th century; in Halberstadt Cathedral, Germany, link “

If you are a fan of 12th century embroidery as I am, then please feel free to also get inspired by this lovely design if you like… 😀

Wow…. Actually I wanted to keep this posting rather short but well… yeah, you see, I couldn’t… *lol* 😉

Best regards Racaire