An embroidery technique in which the stitch work is raised above the surface. Embroidery thread is twisted around wire or thicker wool or padded with wool from beneath, to create raised images of figures, flora and fauna.

The technique includes most needle skills, certainly those of and similar to quilting, Italian quilting and embroidery.

It’s not clear how old the technique is, but there is a beautiful 17thC piece of stumpwork that I saw years ago in the Musician’s gallery at Trerice, in Cornwall, depicting a man and a woman surrounded by birds, animals and trees. Another example worked to cover a box in the Hall Chamber at Montacute house, dating from 1693, shows the judgement of Solomon. The National Trust houses look after a number of other such early pieces.


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