Re-creating Patterns,
Gaining Understanding

In order to better understand the materials, stitches, and techniques used to make the Bacton Altar Cloth, we are all trying our hand at creating some of the motifs. Posts describing what we have attempted and our thoughts about the process are highlighted below.




An Aristocratic Sport

By | How It Was DoneOur WorkWhat We See

A closer look at the embroidery on the small motifs in the hunting scene on the Bacton Altar Cloth Across the middle of the Cloth, there appears to be a scene taking place which was the height of aristocratic pursuits during the medieval and Early modern period – the Hunt. The scene includes a number of different animals, including quarry and hounds, and a huntsman. The Bacton Altar Cloth was embroidered before the documentation of techniques or the definition of


Prick, Pounce, and Paint

By | How It Was DoneOur Work

Techniques of the Ancient Masters Although we can’t be positive, we think the embroiderers who made the Bacton Altar Cloth method used to transfer the botanical designs was a time honoured prick and pounce technique. This method was employed by Italian masters such as Raphael and Michelangelo to transfer their large design drawings, known as cartoons. Pricking the Cartoon For our experiment, I drew a small motif based on the sprig of Marigold from the Bacton Altar Cloth. Placing it on