| Traditionnal Embroidery In Brittany
Posted: 16-Apr-2006, 08:59 AM
Lady of the mists
Realm: Brest - Brittany
| ORIGIN OF THE EMBROIDERY :
Brittany had no "officially" typical costumes before the French revolution of 1789, except those carried by the High-clergy and the nobility.
The nobility and the high-clergy had the right and the means of being made some embroider. The household linens did existed as well in this same social background.
These parts, for the majority, were embroidered in the convents. Only the nuns held the secrecy of the techniques.
It was only after the revolution and the end of the laws known as "sumptuary" (which authorized the wearing of embroideries and laces only to these 2 categories) that the embroidery appeared in countryside. The teaching of the techniques to the girls was ensured by the nuns.
At the time divided into évêchés, and to be different from the cities or villages, Brittany did not have only one regional costume, but several vestimentary modes.
The costume made it possible to know the area and the social status of the belonger by the color of the costume, the fashion of the cap, the modes of embroidery, the cut of the costume, and its time.
These costumes brought little by little to the creation of embroideries often of Parisian inspiration with LOUIS XIII, LOUIS XIV patterns, but especially LOUIS XV and LOUIS XVI. These floral pattern were adapted to the costumes by the country embroiderers. The regional pattern was born thanks to them.
Being inspired sometimes by the precedents, the country embroiderer has create his own design, influenced by his soil.
Thus modes was born with an embroidery which open out especially in the South of Low Brittany, Cornwall.
Glazik Mode : country of Kemper and Porzay
Rouzig Mode : Country of Chateaulin
Bigouden Mode : Soil of Pont L'Abbé
Duig Mode : Country of Aven
Melenik Mode : Country of Elliant
THE EMBROIDERY : A TRADE
It should be recalled that thousands of people carried the costume and the cap. One can thus easily imagine the quantity of work which there could be for the workshops of embroiderers.
This is why the Embroidery made a living for many years and for thousands of people. Women, men and children embroidered, downtown or in the countryside.
The embroiderers were called "Tennerien Neud", plyer of needle. With the occasion of events such as communion, marriage, the family asked the embroiderer to come to the farm before the great day. He had to make one or several costumes, of course not under the same conditions as today.
Men embroidered on thicker fabrics than women (wool cloth, liner...). Let us not forget the children who made also their hours of embroidery.
About 1910, existed in Brittany the brotherhoods of embroiderers. Large workshops employed men and women and embroidering-machines in residence: The Pichavant Workshops in Pont L'Abbé. In Quimper these same workshops existed.
The father of Max Jacob had established in Quimper a workshop of bigoudens embroiderers. It should be noted that these embroiderers adopted a style and drawings of embroidery completely different from their usual work.
In the same city, JAOUEN workshops were held by Mrs KEMERE JAOUEN, influential woman if there was: It was her indeed who, by the port of a small collar in net "imposed" this fashion on all the glazik soil. She had a workshop at Kerfeunteun and a store in front of the Breton museum. These workshops employed women to make costumes of Quimper area but also of the Aven area.
It should be noted that the embroiderers were often tailors as well.
THE EVOLUTION OF THE EMBROIDERY AND THE TRADE OF EMBROIDERER IN BRITTANY :
UNTIL THE SECOND WORLD WAR
The embroiderers and embroidering-machines could exert their trade until the end of the last war. It should be noted that two wars enormously modified the way of life of Breton and their vestimentary mode.
It was the first war that made discover to men that beyond Brittany existed lighter clothing, more comfortable to carry. After their return, an unquestionable change was felt.
However for the marriage, one was made embroider a costume.
Women had given up yet neither the costume nor the cap. It was at the same time that the development of tourism in Brittany and the 2nd world war will forever bring a change.
AFTER THE SECOND WORLD WAR
After the second war, a shortness of raw materials touched the embroiderers and tailors. It should be notice that they came, for the majority of them, from Paris or Lyon. And in their turn women gave up little by little their traditional clothing for town clothes.
The vestimentary fashion evolved/moved at the same time as the economic and industrial development and finally the embroiderers were missing work.
Only the Workshops Minor, located at Pont L'Abbé, succeeded in keeping their activity until the Seventies. They employed 500 workmen in the years 1960.
REBIRTH OF THE EMBROIDERY
In France, it was, to a certain extent, forsaken and forgotten. The Baby boom generation (born after 45) remembers the concepts of embroidery brought by a grandmother but little perennialized tradition. However for a few years, the French haute couture and the large houses of linen have been made the reapparition of the embroidery and sell it throughout the whole world.
Modern embroidery inspired from traditionnal bigouden style :
Glazik Embroidery :
Female Glazik costume :
From : http://www.ecoledebroderie.com/england/cadre.htm
Que restera-t-il de notre sang mêlé au sel, sans trace dans les mémoires ? Une ultime navigation, trompeuse. Et des souvenirs, illuminés d'embruns. Mais condamnés au silence de la mer... Loïc Finaz.
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